The truncated fractional Fourier transform (FRT) is applied to a partially coherent Gaussian Schell-model (GSM) beam. The analytical propagation formula for a partially coherent GSM beam propagating through a truncated FRT optical system is derived by using a tensor method. Furthermore, we report the experimental observation of the truncated FRT for a partially coherent GSM beam. The experimental results are consistent with the theoretical results. Our results show that initial source coherence, fractional order, and aperture width (i.e., truncation parameter) have strong influences on the intensity and coherence properties of the partially coherent beam in the FRT plane. When the aperture width is large, both the intensity and the spectral degree of coherence in the FRT plane are of Gaussian distribution. As the aperture width decreases, the diffraction pattern gradually appears in the FRT plane, and the spectral degree of coherence becomes of non-Gaussian distribution. As the coherence of the initial GSM beam decreases, the diffraction pattern for the case of small aperture widths gradually disappears.
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