The conservation equation for a monochromatic field with arbitrary polarization propagating in an inhomogeneous transparent medium is expressed in terms of amplitude and phase variables. The expressions obtained for linearly polarized fields are compared with the results obtained in the eikonal approximation. The electric field wave equation is written in terms of intensity and phase variables. The transport equations for the irradiance and the phase are shown to be particular cases of these derivations. The conservation equation arising from the second-order differential wave equation is shown to be equivalent to that obtained from Poynting’s theorem.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 13, 2002
Revised Manuscript: March 21, 2003
Manuscript Accepted: March 21, 2003
Published: August 1, 2003
Manuel Fernández-Guasti, José L. Jiménez, Fermı́n Granados-Agustı́n, and Alejandro Cornejo-Rodrı́guez, "Amplitude and phase representation of monochromatic fields in physical optics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 1629-1634 (2003)