Conservation laws for stochastic electromagnetic free fields

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10 Scopus citations


Conservation laws for scalar stochastic free fields propagating in free space are generalized to electromagnetic beam-like fields. New conservation laws are derived for the elements of the cross-spectral density matrix of a stochastic electromagnetic beam, and they can be used to show that some integrated polarization properties, for example, Stokes parameters of a beam, are conserved on propagation in free space. We also show that, unlike integrated Stokes parameters, other polarization characteristics of a beam, for instance, its degree of polarization, are not, generally, conserved on propagation. The theory is illustrated by an example relating to the propagation of single-point and integrated Stokes parameters of an electromagnetic Gaussian Schell-model beam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025003
JournalJournal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Conservation laws
  • Electromagnetic beam
  • Free field
  • Stokes parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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