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Stoke parameters and incoherent light

  1. Mar 25, 2015 #1
    Hi. There is one thing I don't understand: Why do stoke's parameters and all the Jones calculus business apply only to incoherent light? I don't understand how it can work on incoherent light, while fail to work on e.g. monochromatic light.

    Or am I just confused? All answers appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2015 #2

    vanhees71

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    Why should they fail in any case? They are the comprehensive description of all kinds of electromagnetic waves. The Wikipedia article is pretty good. Which point don't you understand?
     
  4. Mar 26, 2015 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    I think you are confused- the Jones calculus *only* applies to *fully coherent* light. The Mueller calculus (Stokes vector) is more general and can describe partially polarized light. Consequently, there is a unique mapping of Jones vectors to Stokes vectors, but not the reverse.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2015 #4
    OK, I see. thanks guys.

    BTW, randomly polarized light is always incoherent, right?
     
  6. Mar 30, 2015 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    Yes, by definition.
     
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