OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 9 — Mar. 20, 1999
  • pp: 1663–1667

Refractive index of air. 2. Group index

Philip E. Ciddor and Reginald J. Hill  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 9, pp. 1663-1667 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (182 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



In a previous paper [Appl. Opt. 35, 1566 (1996)] one of us presented new equations for evaluation of the phase refractive index of air over a range of wavelengths and atmospheric parameters. That paper also gave an incorrect, although sufficiently accurate, procedure for calculating the group refractive index. Here we describe the results of a more rigorous derivation of the group index that takes proper account of the Lorentz–Lorenz formula, and we demonstrate that deviations from the Lorentz–Lorenz formula are insignificant to within a foreseeable precision of dispersion measurements for atmospheric conditions. We also derive and evaluate a simplification of the resultant equation that is useful for exploratory calculations. We clarify the limits of validity of the standard equation for the group refractive index and correct some minor errors in the previous paper.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology

Original Manuscript: September 18, 1998
Revised Manuscript: November 30, 1998
Published: March 20, 1999

Philip E. Ciddor and Reginald J. Hill, "Refractive index of air. 2. Group index," Appl. Opt. 38, 1663-1667 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. P. E. Ciddor, “Refractive index of air: new equations for the visible and the near infrared,” Appl. Opt. 35, 1566–1573 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. J. C. Owens, “Optical refractive index of air,” Appl. Opt. 6, 51–59 (1967). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. M. Rüeger, Electronic Distance Measurement—An Introduction, 4th ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996). [CrossRef]
  4. M. Born, E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 6th ed. (Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1980), pp. 20–22.
  5. Y. S. Galkin, R. A. Tatevian, “Influence of resonances on the phase and group refractive indices of air,” J. Geod. 71, 680–684 (1997). [CrossRef]
  6. Y. S. Galkin, R. A. Tatevian, “The problem of obtaining formulae for the refractive index of air for high-precision EDM,” J. Geod. 71, 483–485 (1997). [CrossRef]
  7. A. N. Golubev, “On the problem of the velocity of light determination in optical distance measurement,” Proceedings Institute of Higher Education Series Geodesy and Aerial Surveying, USSR, No 5, 20–29, (1985). (In Russian; translation supplied by author.)
  8. R. J. Hill, “Refractive index of atmospheric gases,” in The Upper Atmosphere—Data Analysis and Interpretation, W. Dieminger, G. K. Hartmann, R. Leitinger, eds. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996), pp. 261–270.
  9. C. J. F. Böttcher, Theory of Electric Polarisation (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1952).
  10. C. J. F. Böttcher, Theory of Electric Polarisation, 2nd ed. (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1973), Vol. I.
  11. C. J. F. Böttcher, P. Bordewijk, Theory of Electric Polarisation2nd ed. (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1978), Vol. II.
  12. L. Brillouin, Wave Propagation and Group Velocity (Academic, New York, 1960).
  13. K. E. Oughstun, “Pulse propagation in a linear, causally dispersive medium,” Proc. IEEE 79(10) , 1379–1390 (1991). [CrossRef]
  14. K. E. Oughstun, P. Wyns, D. Foty, “Numerical determination of the signal velocity in dispersive pulse propagation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 1430–1440 (1989). [CrossRef]
  15. H. Xiao, K. E. Oughstun, “Hybrid numerical-asymptotic code for dispersive-pulse propagation calculations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 1256–1267 (1998). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited