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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 2, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1985
  • pp: 1987–1993

Accuracy of the Born and Rytov approximations for reflection and refraction at a plane interface

Michael L. Oristaglio  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 2, Issue 11, pp. 1987-1993 (1985)

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How good are the Born and Rytov approximations for the case of refraction and reflection at a plane interface? Here, we show the following results: For the reflected field, the Born approximation gives a plane wave at the correct reflection angle but approximates the true reflection coefficient by an expression linear in the scattering strength, which in this case involves both the velocity perturbation across the interface and the cosine of the incident angle. The Rytov approximation, on the other hand, can be interpreted as giving an infinite series of reflected plane waves in which the first term is just the Born approximation to the true reflected wave. Both approximations, however, are uniformly valid for the field above the interface. In contrast, the Born approximation to the transmitted field is not a plane wave and is not uniformly valid since it contains a secular term that grows linearly with distance from the interface. The Rytov approximation to the transmitted field is uniformly valid; in fact, the Rytov approximation gives a transmitted plane wave that satisfies a modified form of Snell’s law. Numerical examples indicate that the Rytov approximation to the transmitted field is surprisingly accurate. For velocity contrasts less than 40% and incident angles less than 30°, the Rytov approximation to the transmitted angle and transmission coefficient is never more than 20% in error.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: November 15, 1984
Manuscript Accepted: July 24, 1985
Published: November 1, 1985

Michael L. Oristaglio, "Accuracy of the Born and Rytov approximations for reflection and refraction at a plane interface," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1987-1993 (1985)

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  1. J. B. Keller, “Accuracy and validity of the Born and Rytov approximations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1003–1004 (1969).
  2. M. I. Sancer, A. D. Varvatsis, “A comparison of the Born and Rytov methods,” Proc. IEEE 58, 140–141 (1970). [CrossRef]
  3. K. Mano, “Interrelationship between terms of the Born and Rytov expansions,” Proc. IEEE 58, 1168–1169 (1970). [CrossRef]
  4. W. J. Hadden, D. Mintzer, “Test of the Born and Rytov approximations using the Epstein problem,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 63, 1279–1286 (1978). [CrossRef]
  5. Throughout this paper, we use the expression “uniformly valid” in the following usual sense (see Ref. 6): Given a function g(z. α) and an approximation f(z, α) to g, the statement “g(z, α) = f(z, α) + O(αn) as α→ α0” is called uniformly valid with respect to z in some domain D, if for all z in D there exists a constant k such that, |g−f|⩽kαn as α→ α0, where the constant k can be found independently of the value of z.
  6. J. Kevorkian, J. D. Cole, Perturbation Methods in Applied Mathematics (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1981). [CrossRef]
  7. A. J. Devaney, “A filtered backpropagation algorithm for diffraction tomography,” Ultrasonic Imaging 4, 336–350 (1982).It is actually the complex phase that is used in inverse methods based on the Rytov approximation. Here we consider just the imaginary part of the phase, since in this example the real part of the phase is independent of z and cannot be a source of nonuniformity in the approximation. [PubMed]

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