Numerical Simulation of Optical Wave Propagation with Examples in MATLAB

  • Jason D. Schmidt
  • July 2010, SPIE
  • DOI: 10.1117/3.866274

What is it about?

This book describes how to do computer simulations of light propagation. The methodology used the linear systems framework of Fourier optics. A key tool used in the simulations for computational efficiency is the fast Fourier transform. Readers progress through the basics of Maxwell's equations, two-dimensional Fourier transforms and related computations, light propagation through vacuum and simple optical systems, proper grid sampling, and light propagation through atmospheric turbulence. The material is written at a graduate level with the assumption that the reader has some background in Fourier optics.

Why is it important?

People who design optical systems and need to account for diffraction effects should read this book and learn the techniques that it describes. This book is particularly beneficial for those who deal with lidar, free-space optical communication, long-range imaging, active imaging, and laser beam projection.


Dr Jason D Schmidt
MZA Associates Corporation

This book was a joy to write. I wrote it after teaching a class on optical simulations at the Air Force Institute of Technology for a few years. The book has served many students in providing a firm foundation for conducting research that was published in high-quality journals like Applied Optics, Optics Letters, and Journal of the Optical Society of America A.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jason D Schmidt