A key step in any ray-based method for propagating waves is the choice of a family of rays to be associated with the initial wave field. We develop some basic prescriptions for constructing initial ray families to match two particular types of waves. Various Gaussian and Bessel beams are separately given special treatment because of their general interest. These ideas are directly useful for a newly developed method for ray-based wave modeling. The new method expresses the wave as a superposition of ray contributions that is independent of the width of the field element associated with each ray. This insensitivity is investigated here even when the elemental width varies from ray to ray. The results increase the applicability of the new wave-modeling scheme.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(000.3860) General : Mathematical methods in physics
(080.2710) Geometric optics : Inhomogeneous optical media
(080.2720) Geometric optics : Mathematical methods (general)
(350.7420) Other areas of optics : Waves
M. A. Alonso and G. W. Forbes, "Using rays better. II. Ray families to match prescribed wave fields," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1146-1159 (2001)