• R Simon

      Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics

    • Generalized pencils of rays in statistical wave optics

      R Simon

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      The recently introduced generalized pencil of Sudarshan which gives an exact ray picture of wave optics is analysed in some situations of interest to wave optics. A relationship between ray dispersion and statistical inhomogeneity of the field is obtained. A paraxial approximation which preserves the rectilinear propagation character of the generalized pencils is presented. Under this approximation the pencils can be computed directly from the field conditions on a plane, without the necessity to compute the cross-spectral density function in the entire space as an intermediate quantity. The paraxial results are illustrated with examples. The pencils are shown to exhibit an interesting scaling behaviour in the far-zone. This scaling leads to a natural generalization of the Fraunhofer range criterion and of the classical van Cittert-Zernike theorem to planar sources of arbitrary state of coherence. The recently derived results of radiometry with partially coherent sources are shown to be simple consequences of this scaling.

    • Hamilton’s theory of turns and a new geometrical representation for polarization optics

      R Simon N Mukunda ECG Sudarshan

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      Hamilton’s theory of turns for the group SU(2) is exploited to develop a new geometrical representation for polarization optics. While pure polarization states are represented by points on the Poincaré sphere, linear intensity preserving optical systems are represented by great circle arcs on another sphere. Composition of systems, and their action on polarization states, are both reduced to geometrical operations. Several synthesis problems, especially in relation to the Pancharatnam-Berry-Aharonov-Anandan geometrical phase, are clarified with the new representation. The general relation between the geometrical phase, and the solid angle on the Poincaré sphere, is established.

    • The real symplectic groups in quantum mechanics and optics

      Arvind B Dutta N Mukunda R Simon

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      We present a utilitarian review of the family of matrix groups Sp(2n, ℛ), in a form suited to various applications both in optics and quantum mechanics. We contrast these groups and their geometry with the much more familiar Euclidean and unitary geometries. Both the properties of finite group elements and of the Lie algebra are studied, and special attention is paid to the so-called unitary metaplectic representation of Sp(2n, ℛ). Global decomposition theorems, interesting subgroups and their generators are described. Turning ton-mode quantum systems, we define and study their variance matrices in general states, the implications of the Heisenberg uncertainty principles, and develop a U(n)-invariant squeezing criterion. The particular properties of Wigner distributions and Gaussian pure state wavefunctions under Sp(2n, ℛ) action are delineated.

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