The Hamiltonian of an optical medium is important in both the design and the description of optical devices in the geometrical optics limit. The results calculated in this article show in detail how ray tracing in anisotropic materials in arbitrary coordinate systems and curved spaces can be carried out. Writing Maxwell’s equations in the most general form, we derive a coordinate-free form for the eikonal equation and hence the Hamiltonian of a general purpose medium. The expression works for both orthogonal and non-orthogonal coordinate systems, and we show how it can be simplified for biaxial and uniaxial media in orthogonal coordinate systems. In order to show the utility of the equations in a real case, we study both the isotropic and the uniaxially transmuted birefringent Eaton lens and derive the ray trajectories in spherical coordinates for each case.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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