Abstract

The metaplectic transform (MT), a generalization of the Fourier transform sometimes called the linear canonical transform, is a tool used ubiquitously in modern optics, for example, when calculating the transformations of light beams in paraxial optical systems. The MT is also an essential ingredient of the geometrical-optics modeling of caustics that we recently proposed. In particular, this application relies on the near-identity MT (NIMT); however, the NIMT approximation used so far is not exactly unitary and leads to numerical instability. Here, we develop a discrete MT that is exactly unitary, and approximate it to obtain a discrete NIMT that is also unitary and can be computed in linear time. We prove that the discrete NIMT converges to the discrete MT when iterated, thereby allowing the NIMT to compute MTs that are not necessarily near-identity. We then demonstrate the new algorithms with a series of examples.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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