Using the properties of Hermite polynomials, a simple first-order matrix differential equation is developed which describes the propagation of an arbitrary field through an inhomogeneous medium and which can be solved exactly. This method handles both spatially varying refractive index and linear absorption and diffraction. As examples, it is applied to an etalon and a graded index optical fiber.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 5, 1989
Published: February 20, 1990
R. McDuff, "Matrix method for beam propagation using Gaussian Hermite polynomials," Appl. Opt. 29, 802-808 (1990)