Optical eigenmode description of partially coherent light fields

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Optical eigenmodes describe coherent solutions of Maxwells equations that are orthogonal to each other. These modes form a natural basis set of the electromagnetic Hilbert space that can be used to describe optical scattering interactions in a simple way. Many of the properties defined in quantum mechanics can formally be found in the optical eigenmodes framework. For example, the Hilbert spaces defined by two different scattering operators are separable only if the two operators commute with each other. Here, we expand the optical eigenmode framework to partially coherent light fields. In this case, we remark that the eigenmode decomposition of partially coherent fields leads to a formalism similar to the density matrix formalism used in quantum mechanics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplex Light and Optical Forces XIII
EditorsJesper Glückstad, David L. Andrews, Enrique J. Galvez
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
EventComplex Light and Optical Forces XIII (SPIE OPTO) - Moscone Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2 Feb 20197 Feb 2019
Conference number: 10935

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
PublisherSociety of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceComplex Light and Optical Forces XIII (SPIE OPTO)
Abbreviated titleSPIE OPTO
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • Optical eigenmodes
  • Partial coherence


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