Abstract

A simplified method of ray tracing in cylindrical optical systems of arbitrary cross section is described. The technique involves the projection of a ray’s path onto a cross-sectional plane perpendicular to the axis of translational symmetry. It is shown that this projected path obeys a generalized form of Snell’s law, enabling application of conventional 2-D ray tracing methods. The approach is illustrated by demonstrating the optical characteristics of the recently patented prism light guide.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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