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Proceedings Paper

Geometrical optics: some applications of the law of intensity
Author(s): David L. Shealy
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Paper Abstract

Geometrical optics is commonly associated with the ray-like properties of light, such as, law of reflection, Snell's law, ray tracing, the optical path length and phase. The geometrical optics law of intensity and the optical wavefront are also well known, but are perhaps less used as a basis for optical design than ray tracing. This paper will first review how the geometrical optics law of intensity leads to the invariance of the product of the intensity of light times an element of area along a bundle of rays. Then, we will discuss how the geometrical optics law of intensity provides a good foundation for understanding not only nonimaging optics through direct ways to design optical systems for prescribed illumination requirements but also imaging applications through a complete understanding of the differential geometry of the optical wavefront and the caustic surfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 September 2006
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 6289, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX, 62890F (6 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682852
Show Author Affiliations
David L. Shealy, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6289:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX
José M. Sasian; Mary G. Turner, Editor(s)

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