Fundamental Tools of Optoelectronics: Maxwell’s Equations

  • Clifford R. Pollock
  • Michal Lipson


There are many tools available to analyze or design an optical device. Imagine trying to characterize the optical behavior of a simple magnifying lens. We might first project an image of an object onto a screen. Using a ray picture, we could describe the magnification, focal length, principal planes, and so forth (Fig. la) of the lens. This characterization is called geometric optics [I]. If we were very perceptive, we might notice that different colors form images at slightly different distances from the lens (Fig. lb). To adequately describe this effect, we would have to understand and explore the material and dispersion properties of the lens [2]. This is called physical optics.


Phase Velocity Group Velocity Optical Waveguide Critical Angle Total Internal Reflection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford R. Pollock
    • 1
  • Michal Lipson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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