Cumulant functions in optical coherence theory
Cumulant functions are introduced to describe the statistical state of a radiation field. These functions are simply related to the optical coherence functions but have some interesting features. It is shown that if the cumulant functions of all orders greater than some numberN 0 vanish then they also vanish for all orders greater than 2. Thermal field is the only field having this property. This property holds whether the field is described by a classical stochastic process or by a quantum density operator. Further the particular operator ordering used in defining these cumulant functions for the quantized field affects only the second order cumulant function. To describe the statistical state of a vector field such as partially polarized or unpolarized radiation, one would need to introduce cumulant tensors.
KeywordsCumulant functions optical coherence Marcinkiewicz theorem
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