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Partially coherent standard and elegant Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beams of all orders are introduced as a natural extension of coherent standard and elegant LG beams to the stochastic domain. By expanding the LG modes into a finite sum of Hermite-Gaussian modes, the analytical formulae are obtained for the cross-spectral densities of partially coherent standard and elegant LG beams in the source plane and after passing through paraxial ABCD optical system, based on the generalized Collins integral formula. A comparative study of the propagation properties of the partially coherent standard and elegant LG beams in free space is carried out via a set of numerical examples. Our results indicate that the intensity and spreading properties of partially coherent standard and elegant LG beams are closely related to their initial coherence states, and are very different from the corresponding results for the coherent standard and elegant LG beams. In particular, an elegant LG beam spreads slower than a standard LG beam, while this advantage disappears when their initial coherences are very small. Our results may find applications in connection with laser beam shaping, singular optics and astrophysical measurements of angular momentum of radiation.


This paper was published in Optics Express 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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