Transfer Matrix Methods for Optics Education
When optical elements are representable by a transfer characteristic,
system analysis becomes conceptually simple. When the transfer characteristic
is a 2 x 2 matrix, the mathematics become simple as well. Different
transfer matrix methods may be used to monitor the change in different
properties of light that occur due to the optical system. There are
a number of advantages of studying these transfer matrix methods together.
For example, once one is familiar with one transfer matrix method, it is
straightforward to quickly learn another, even if it is part of a completely
different branch of physics. This allows the optics educator extra
time to delve more deeply into each topic.
Date Modified January 1998
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