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To illustrate some of the techniques used in solving propagation problems, the formalism of coherence theory developed in Chapters 10 and 11 is applied to a simple image formation system - €”a pinhole camera. Theoretical predictions are compared with typical experimental results. As discussed in Chapter 11, the quantity of interest in coherence theory is a cross-correlation function between the complex amplitude of the optical field at two separate space-time points. For many problems (including those of image formation) in which polarization effects are not important, the optical field can be treated as a scalar quantity.
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