To be able to design optical systems (e.g., variable focus or zoom lenses) made from liquid-crystal devices, it is necessary to be able to ray trace in a birefringent medium where the angle of the optical axis is a function of position in the device. To our knowledge, the theory required to achieve this has not previously been published, and we derive a suitable algorithm and give some examples of its use.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 21, 2006
Revised Manuscript: February 1, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: February 4, 2007
Published: June 13, 2007
Charles Jenkins, Richard Bingham, Kenneth Moore, and Gordon D. Love, "Ray equation for a spatially variable uniaxial crystal and its use in the optical design of liquid-crystal lenses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 2089-2096 (2007)