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Proceedings Paper

Direct And Inverse Wave Propagation Theories And The Factorized Helmholtz Equation. Path Integral Representations
Author(s): Louis Fishman; John J. McCoy
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Paper Abstract

The reduced scalar Helmholtz equation for a transversely inhomogeneous half-space sup-plemented with an outgoing radiation condition and an appropriate boundary condition on the initial-value plane defines a direct acoustic propagation model. This elliptic formulation admits a factorization and is subsequently equivalent to a first-order Weyl pseudo-differ-ential equation which is recognized as an extended parabolic propagation model. Perturbation treatments of the appropriate Weyl composition equation result in a systematic devel-opment of approximate wave theories while exact inversions for several nontrivial profiles provide for an analysis of strong refractive and diffractive effects. The analysis, in a natural manner, provides the basis for the formulation and exact solution of an arbitrary-dimensional nonlinear inverse problem appropriate for ocean acoustic, seismic, and optical studies- Moreover, the n-dimensional reduced scalar Helmholtz equation for the transversely inhomogeneous medium is naturally related to parabolic propagation models through (1) the above mentioned n-dimensional extended parabolic (Weyl pseudo-differential) equation and (2) an imbedding in an (n + 1)-dimensional parabolic (SchrOdinger) equation. The first relationship provides the basis for the parabolic-based Hamiltonian phase space path integral representation of the half-space propagator. The second relationship provides the basis for the elliptic-based path integral representations associated with Feynman/Fradkin, Feynman/Garrod, and Feynman/Dewitt-Morette. The path integrals allow for a global perspective of the transition from elliptic to parabolic wave theory in addition to providing a unifying framework in the direct and inverse formulations for dynamical approximations, resolution of the square root operator, and the concepts of an underlying stochastic process and free motion on curved spaces. The wave equation and path integral analysis provides for computational algorithms while foreshadowing the extension to (1) the vector formulation appropriate for elastic media, (2) the bilinear formulation appropriate for acoustic field coherence, and (3) the stochastic formulation appropriate for wave propagation in random media.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 1983
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0413, Inverse Optics I, (22 September 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935846
Show Author Affiliations
Louis Fishman, The Catholic University of America (United States)
John J. McCoy, The Catholic University of America (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0413:
Inverse Optics I
Anthony J. Devaney, Editor(s)

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