Using rays better. I. theory for smoothly varying media

G. W. Forbes, M. A. Alonso

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present a method for computing ray-based approximations to optical fields that not only offers unprecedented accuracy but is also accompanied by accessible error estimates. The basic elements of propagation through smooth media, refraction and reflection at interfaces, and diffraction by obstacles give the foundations for the new framework, and the first of these is treated here. The key in each case is that the wave field and any relevant derivatives are expressed consistently as a superposition of delocalized ray contributions. In this way, the mysteries surrounding the sometimes perplexing tenaciousness of ray-based estimates are clearly resolved. Further, an essential degree of freedom in this approach offers an attractive resolution of part of the apparent conflict of particle/wave duality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1132-1145
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
    Volume18
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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