Abstract

Matter interacting with light is considered as a linear optical system that may be time-shift invariant or time-shift variant, which is important for an ultrashort time technique. The light may be coherent or partially coherent in second order with respect to time. It is described by the Page distribution. The optical system is characterized by a time-dependent system spectrum, which is adapted to the Page distribution of the light interacting with the systems and which is related to the optical transfer functions of the system. With the system spectrum and the spectra derived from it, various linear optical systems (spectral instruments without or in connection with shutters, glass slabs, and molecular systems investigated by excitation and probe spectroscopy) are described.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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