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A Macroscopic Theory of Interference and Diffraction of Light from Finite Sources. II. Fields with a Spectral Range of Arbitrary Width

E. Wolf
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Vol. 230, No. 1181 (Jun. 21, 1955), pp. 246-265
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/99655
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Macroscopic Theory of Interference and Diffraction of Light from Finite Sources. II. Fields with a Spectral Range of Arbitrary Width
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Abstract

The results of part I of this investigation are generalized to stationary fields with a spectral range of arbitrary width. For this purpose it is found necessary to introduce in place of the mutual intensity function of Zernike a more general correlation function Γ̂(x1, x2, τ ) = $\langle \hat{V}$(x1, t + τ ) V̂*(x2, t)$\rangle $, which expresses the correlation between disturbances at any two given points P1(x1), P2(x2) in the field, the disturbance at P1 being considered at a time τ later than at P2. It is shown that Γ̂ is an observable quantity. Expressions for Γ̂ in terms of functions which specify the source and the transmission properties of the medium are derived. Further, it is shown that in vacuo the correlation function obeys rigorously the two wave equations ∇ s 2Γ̂ = 1/c2∂ 2Γ̂/∂ τ 2 (s = 1, 2), where ∇ s 2 is the Laplacian operator with respect to the co-ordinates (xs, ys, zs) of Ps(xs). Using this result, a formula is obtained which expresses rigorously the correlation between disturbances at P1 and P2 in terms of the values of the correlation and of its derivatives at all pairs of points on an arbitrary closed surface which surrounds P1 and P2. A special case of this formula (P2 = P1, τ = 0) represents a rigorous formulation of the generalized Huygens principle, involving observable quantities only.

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