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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 12, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1995
  • pp: 1010–1016

The k function in geometrical optics and its relationship to the archetypal wave front and the caustic surface

Orestes N. Stavroudis  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 12, Issue 5, pp. 1010-1016 (1995)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.12.001010


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Abstract

The k function is the arbitrary function that arises in the general solution of the eikonal equation, a nonlinear, first-order partial differential equation, and describes completely the geometrical properties of a wave-front train and the associated caustic in a homogeneous, isotropic optical medium. The archetypal wave front in such a train is that unique wave front whose optical path length from the ultimate object point is zero. As an example, the k function of a wave-front train resulting from a plane wave front incident upon a spherical refracting surface is calculated. From it the archetype and the caustic are obtained. The results agree exactly with ray-trace data.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

History
Original Manuscript: April 26, 1994
Revised Manuscript: September 20, 1994
Manuscript Accepted: October 10, 1994
Published: May 1, 1995

Citation
Orestes N. Stavroudis, "The k function in geometrical optics and its relationship to the archetypal wave front and the caustic surface," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 1010-1016 (1995)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-12-5-1010

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