Abstract

For general optical systems, the possibility of the existence of quasi-monochromatic planar sources with different states of coherence that generate identical intensity distributions at the output plane has been analyzed. The common characteristics and the relationship that must be satisfied by the correlation functions of all these sources have been determined. As an illustrative example, the results have been applied to the particular case of free propagation and intensity data throughout the Fraunhofer zone, and agreement with a previously reported result by Wolf [ J. Opt. Soc. Am.68, 1597 ( 1978)] has been obtained. Also it has been shown that all sources that generate identical intensity distributions at the output plane have identical total intensity at the input plane. Finally a procedure is stated for obtaining from intensity data a number of totally or partially coherent sources producing the same intensity at the output.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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