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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 24, Iss. 8 — Apr. 15, 1985
  • pp: 1209–1216

Isoenergetic rays in ray trace programs. 1: Generation of isoenergetic rays

J. W. Foreman, Jr.  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 24, Issue 8, pp. 1209-1216 (1985)

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When the performance of an optical system is evaluated by tracing rays from a point source through the system, it is necessary in some cases to use rays which effectively transport equal amounts of energy per unit time (isoenergetic rays). The procedure given in the optical literature for generating isoenergetic rays is to distribute the ray intersections with the entrance pupil with uniform density per unit area. It is shown here that this procedure is not rigorously correct, and a correct procedure for generating isoenergetic rays is presented.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 2, 1983
Published: April 15, 1985

J. W. Foreman, "Isoenergetic rays in ray trace programs. 1: Generation of isoenergetic rays," Appl. Opt. 24, 1209-1216 (1985)

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  1. P. J. Sands, “Aberration Coefficients and Best Focus,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 582 (1973). [CrossRef]
  2. T. B. Andersen, “Evaluating rms Spot Radii by Ray Tracing,” Appl. Opt. 21, 1241 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. D. G. Burkhard, D. L. Shealy, “Analytical Illuminance Calculation in a Multi-Interface Optical System,” Opt. Acta 22, 485 (1975). [CrossRef]
  4. J. W. Foreman, “Computation of rms Spot Radii by Ray Tracing,” Appl. Opt. 13, 2585 (1974). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. M. Herzberger, Modern Geometrical Optics (Interscience, New York, 1958), pp. 106 and 387.Even though Herzberger does not state explicitly in the text whether rays are to be entered at the vertices or at the centers of the equilateral triangles, it appears from Fig. 11.7b on p. 106 that he intended for rays to be placed at the vertices of the triangles.
  6. A. Cox, A System of Optical Design (Focal Press, New York, 1964), pp. 378 and 379.

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