Optical coherence gratings and lattices and their propagation properties
Partially coherent sources have been widely used in speckle-free imaging, distortion-less information transfer and optical communications in free space. In this thesis, we introduce a novel class of partially coherent sources, the so-called optical coherence gratings/lattices and study their propagation properties in free space. The novel sources are constructed using the recently developed complex Gaussian representation of statistical pulses and beams. All novel sources generate either pulses with statistically stationary or beams with statistically homogeneous coherence properties in the source plane. Furthermore, the new class of sources shows periodic temporal or spatial coherence properties. We explore paraxial propagation of the beams generated by novel sources in free space. We give evidence of a novel phenomenon of periodicity reciprocity between the source intensity and coherence properties. We expect the new phenomenon to find applications to free-space optical communications.