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Anything optical rays cannot do?
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Paper Abstract

The limits of ray optical methods to provide a valid model for describing the propagation of electromagnetic radiation are explored. We briefly review fundamentals of ray optics as well as various extensions. This review is partially intended to emphasize that existing ray based methods are able to address most, if not all, wave phenomena. In addition, we propose an extension of ray optics which interprets rays as generalized trajectories in an abstract configuration state. This allows us to propose the use of rays and ray optics as fundamental and practical concept to compute any wave phenomenon, including rigorous diffraction problems. Wave optics, in this context, becomes a convenient and efficient method to calculate the ray transfer properties. In addition, our concept facilitates interfacing conventional ray-tracing methods with wave optical methods to predict diffraction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4436, Wave-Optical Systems Engineering, (21 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.451310
Show Author Affiliations
Andrey V. Semichaevsky, Univ. of Massachusetts/Lowell (United States)
Markus E. Testorf, Univ. of Massachusetts/Lowell (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4436:
Wave-Optical Systems Engineering
Frank Wyrowski, Editor(s)

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