Abstract

A boundary-value problem for Maxwell’s equations is formulated whose solutions represent ultrashort pulses of electromagnetic energy that travel along an axis. A paraxial approximation to the solution is introduced that, in the case of Gaussian boundary data, is expressed as a single integral over frequency. Calculations are presented for a pulse of Gaussian cross section and Gaussian time profile. A careful study is made of the error introduced by the paraxial approximation, and an error bound is derived.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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