The optics of rays, wavefronts, and caustics

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Academic Press, 1972 - Science - 313 pages
The book provides a study of the mathematical foundation of geometrical optics. Included are: (a) Techniques for solving ray and wavefront problems in general inhomogeneous media-relevant particularly to the recently evolved concept of the 'inhomogeneous lens'. (b) Generalized ray tracing, a technique for calculating, in a ray neighborhood, the principal curvatures of a wavefront as it propagates through a lens. This process is immediately applicable to computer lens design programs. (c) A general solution for the eikonal equation for a homogeneous medium providing a general description of wavefronts in analytic terms. The book also treats several topics of considerable theoretical interest, including: (a) A system of equations, similar to the Maxwell equations but derived from the postulates of geometrical optics alone. (b) An algebraic theory of lens design in which lenses are represented as group elements. This treatise will be of particular importance to optical designers and optical physicists. For its formalistic treatment, mathematicians and theoretical physicists will find it considerably valuable. (Author).

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