Abstract

In classical diffraction theory, Babinet’s principle relates the electromagnetic fields produced by complementary sources. This theorem was always formulated for single-point quantities, both intensities or field amplitudes, in conditions where the full spatial coherence is implicitly assumed. However, electromagnetic fields are, in general, partially coherent, and their spatial properties are described in terms of two-point field–field correlation functions. In this case, a generalized Babinet’s principle can be derived that applies to the spatial coherence functions. We present both the derivation and the experimental demonstration of this generalized Babinet theorem.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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