In this Letter, we present wave propagation models of spatially partially coherent (or spatially incoherent) light to compress the computational load of forward and back propagations in inverse problems. In our model, partially coherent light is approximated as a set of random or plane wavefronts passing through spatial bandpass filters, which corresponds to an illumination pupil, and each wave coherently propagates onto a sensor plane through object space. We show that our models reduce the number of coherent propagations in inverse problems, which are essential in optical control and sensing, such as computer-generated holography (CGH) and quantitative phase imaging. We verify the proposed models by numerical and experimental demonstrations of CGH incorporating spatially partially coherent light.
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