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In studies of radiation from partially coherent sources the so-called quasi-homogeneous (QH) model sources have been very useful, for instance in elucidating the behavior of fields produced by thermal sources. The analysis of the fields generated by such sources has, however, been largely carried out in the framework of scalar wave theory. In this paper we generalize the concept of the QH source to the domain of the electromagnetic theory, and we derive expressions for the elements of the cross-spectral density matrix, for the spectral density, the spectral degree of coherence, the degree of polarization, and the Stokes parameters of the far field generated by planar QH sources of uniform states of polarization. We then derive reciprocity relations analogous to those familiar in connection with the QH scalar sources. We illustrate the results by determining the properties of the far field produced by transmission of an electromagnetic beam through a system of spatial light modulators.


This paper was published in Journal of the Optical Society of America A and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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