In a ray trace calculation of the rms radius of the spot formed in the image plane of an optical system by a point source object, a decision must be made as to how many rays will be traced to obtain the result. As the number of rays is increased, the rms spot radius is generally found to decrease, apparently approaching a definite lower limit as the number of rays becomes very large. This paper examines the question of how many rays must be traced and what their geometrical distribution within the aperture should be to approach the limiting value of the rms spot radius for an infinite number of rays within an accuracy of approximately 1%.
© 1974 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: February 1, 1974
Published: November 1, 1974
J. W. Foreman, "Computation of RMS Spot Radii by Ray Tracing," Appl. Opt. 13, 2585-2588 (1974)