Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Physics (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Olga Korotkova

Second Committee Member

Greg Gbur

Third Committee Member

Howard Gordon

Fourth Committee Member

Kenneth Voss


With their first production implemented around 1960’s, lasers have afterwards proven to be excellent light sources in building the technology. Subsequently, it has been shown that the extraordinary properties of lasers are related to their coherence properties. Recent developments in optics make it possible to synthesize partially coherent light beams from fully coherent ones. In the last several decades it was seen that using partially coherent light sources may be advantageous, in the areas such as laser surface processing, fiber and free-space optical communications, and medical diagnostics. In this thesis, I study extensively the generation, the propagation in different media, and the scattering of partially coherent light beams with respect to their spectral polarization and coherence states. For instance, I analyze the evolution of recently introduced degree of cross-polarization of light fields in free space; then develop a novel partially coherent light source which acquires and keeps a flat intensity profile around the axis at any distance in the far field; and investigate the interaction of electromagnetic random light with the human eye lens. A part of the thesis treats the effect of atmospheric turbulence on random light beams. Due to random variations in the refractive index, atmospheric turbulence modulates all physical and statistical properties of propagating beams. I have explored the possibility of employing the polarimetric domain of the beam for scintillation reduction, which positively affects the performance of free-space communication systems. I also discuss novel techniques for the sensing of rough targets in the turbulent atmosphere by polarization and coherence properties of light. The other contribution to the thesis is the investigation of light scattering from deterministic or random collections of particles, within the validity of first Born approximation. In the case of a random collection, I introduce and model the new quantity (named pair-structure function) describing correlations among particles, the knowledge of which is necessary for the rigorous predictions of scattered radiation’s statistics. Also, by introducing the multi-Gaussian family of functions for scattering potentials, we demonstrate a realistic model for semi-hard edges of particles and bubblelike particles.


Propagation of Light; Scattering of Light; Optical Light Beams; Random Beams; Statistical Optics; Electromagnetic Fields