Abstract

The Fermat principle is generalized to a system of rays. It is shown that all the ray mappings that are compatible with two given intensities of a monochromatic wave, measured at two planes, are stationary points of a canonical functional, which is the weighted average of the actions of all the rays. It is further shown that there exist at least two stationary points for this functional, implying that in the geometrical optics regime the phase from intensity problem has inherently more than one solution. The caustic structures of all the possible ray mappings are analyzed. A number of simulations illustrate the theoretical considerations.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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