Abstract

The product of the spatial and spatial frequency extents of a wave field has proven useful in the analysis of the sampling requirements of numerical simulations. We propose that the ratio of these quantities is also illuminating. We have shown that the distance at which the so-called “direct method” becomes more efficient than the so-called “spectral method” for simulations of Fresnel transforms may be written in terms of this space–bandwidth ratio. We have proposed generalizations of these algorithms for numerical simulations of general ABCD systems and derived expressions for the “transition space–bandwidth ratio,” above which the generalization of the spectral method is the more efficient algorithm and below which the generalization of the direct method is preferable.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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