## A variational principle in optics

JOSA A, Vol. 21, Issue 11, pp. 2164-2172 (2004)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.21.002164

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### Abstract

We derive a new variational principle in optics. We first formulate the principle for paraxial waves and then generalize it to arbitrary waves. The new principle, unlike the Fermat principle, concerns both the phase and the intensity of the wave. In particular, the principle provides a method for finding the ray mapping between two surfaces in space from information on the wave’s intensity there. We show how to apply the new principle to the problem of phase reconstruction from intensity measurements.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

**OCIS Codes**

(000.3860) General : Mathematical methods in physics

(080.0080) Geometric optics : Geometric optics

**History**

Original Manuscript: March 16, 2004

Revised Manuscript: May 14, 2004

Manuscript Accepted: May 14, 2004

Published: November 1, 2004

**Citation**

Jacob Rubinstein and Gershon Wolansky, "A variational principle in optics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A **21**, 2164-2172 (2004)

http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-21-11-2164

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