Poincaré sphere of electromagnetic spatial coherence

Jyrki Laatikainen, Ari T. Friberg, Olga Korotkova, Tero Setälä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a Poincaré sphere construction for geometrical representation of the state of two-point spatial coherence in random electromagnetic (vectorial) beams. To this end, a novel descriptor of coherence is invoked, which shares some important mathematical properties with the polarization matrix and spans a new type of Stokes parameter space. The coherence Poincaré sphere emerges as a geometric interpretation of this novel formalism, which is developed for uniformly and nonuniformly fully polarized beams. The construction is extended to partially polarized beams as well and is demonstrated with a field having separable spatial coherence and polarization characteristics. At a single point, the coherence Poincaré sphere reduces to the conventional polarization Poincaré sphere for any state of partial polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2143-2146
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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