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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

  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 25, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 2008
  • pp: 1260–1273

General polarized ray-tracing method for inhomogeneous uniaxially anisotropic media

Maarten Sluijter, Dick K. G. de Boer, and Joseph J. M. Braat  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 25, Issue 6, pp. 1260-1273 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.25.001260


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Abstract

Uniaxial optical anisotropy in the geometrical-optics approach is a classical problem, and most of the theory has been known for at least fifty years. Although the subject appears frequently in the literature, wave propagation through inhomogeneous anisotropic media is rarely addressed. The rapid advances in liquid-crystal lenses call for a good overview of the theory on wave propagation via anisotropic media. Therefore, we present a novel polarized ray-tracing method, which can be applied to anisotropic optical systems that contain inhomogeneous liquid crystals. We describe the propagation of rays in the bulk material of inhomogeneous anisotropic media in three dimensions. In addition, we discuss ray refraction, ray reflection, and energy transfer at, in general, curved anisotropic interfaces with arbitrary orientation and/or arbitrary anisotropic properties. The method presented is a clear outline of how to assess the optical properties of uniaxially anisotropic media.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.1190) Materials : Anisotropic optical materials
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(080.3095) Geometric optics : Inhomogeneous elements in optical systems
(080.5692) Geometric optics : Ray trajectories in inhomogeneous media
(260.2710) Physical optics : Inhomogeneous optical media

History
Original Manuscript: November 2, 2007
Revised Manuscript: March 20, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: March 25, 2008
Published: May 12, 2008

Citation
Maarten Sluijter, Dick K. G. de Boer, and Joseph J. M. Braat, "General polarized ray-tracing method for inhomogeneous uniaxially anisotropic media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 1260-1273 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-25-6-1260

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