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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 59, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1969
  • pp: 1629–1631

Formal Quantum Theory of Light Rays

D. GLOGE and D. MARCUSE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 59, Issue 12, pp. 1629-1631 (1969)

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It is shown that the relation between ray optics and wave optics is analogous to the relation between the classical mechanics of a point particle and quantum mechanics. The time coordinate of quantum mechanics has to be replaced with a length coordinate and the light wavelength X takes the place of Planck’s constant h. A well-known result of quantum mechanics is that it coincides with classical mechanics in the limit h → 0. Correspondingly, wave and ray optics must coincide in the limit λ → 0.

D. GLOGE and D. MARCUSE, "Formal Quantum Theory of Light Rays," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1629-1631 (1969)

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  1. A. I. Akhiezer and V. B. Berestetskii, Quantum Electrodynamics (Wiley-Interscience Inc., New York, 1965).
  2. H. Goldstein, Classical Mechanics (Addison-Wesley Publ. Co., Reading, Mass., 1959), Sec. 9.8.
  3. Principles of Optics, M. Born and E. Wolf, Eds. (Pergamon Press, Inc., New York, 1964), 3rd ed
  4. L. I. Schiff, Quantum Mechanics (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1955).

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