Abstract

The basic formalism for first-order paraxial Fourier optics of the Maxwell field is established. Analysis of the relativistic symmetry of Maxwell’s equations leads to specific mathematical quantities by which the passage from scalar to vector Fourier optics becomes unambiguous. The inconsistency of viewing scalar Fourier optics as the description of plane-polarized Maxwell waves is recognized. System operators giving the actions of lenses, magnifiers, Fourier transformers, and general first-order systems on Maxwellian waves are constructed. Both field-strength and vector-potential treatments are given.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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Equations (93)

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