Beams with structured phase and beams with partial spatial coherence have both been considered for a variety of applications for many years, and it would seem natural to combine their advantageous properties. However, there is a conceptual difficulty in doing so because partially coherent beams lack a definite phase, which would seem to rule out a direct synthesis. Nevertheless, research over the past decade has clarified the relationship between phase singularities of coherent fields and correlation singularities of two-point correlation functions, showing that coherent vortices survive the disruption of spatial coherence. In this presentation we discuss a number of theoretical models of what we refer to as “partially coherent vortex beams,” considering their relative merits.
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