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We present a new partially coherent source with spatiotemporal coupling. The stochastic light, which we call a spatiotemporal (ST) non-uniformly correlated (NUC) beam, combines space and time in an inhomogeneous (shift- or space-variant) correlation function. This results in a source that self-focuses at a controllable location in space-time, making these beams potentially useful in applications such as optical trapping, optical tweezing, and particle manipulation. We begin by developing the mutual coherence function for an ST NUC beam. We then examine its free-space propagation characteristics by deriving an expression for the mean intensity at any plane z ≥ 0. To validate the theoretical work, we perform Monte Carlo simulations, in which we generate statistically independent ST NUC beam realizations and compare the sample statistical moments to the corresponding theory. We observe excellent agreement amongst the results.


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Applied Physics B