Abstract

A simple expression is obtained for the wavelength-dependent optical path length through a completely general N-prism sequence. Once the prisms’ rotational orientations are fixed, a one-time calculation yields analytic expressions for the group-delay dispersion and cubic dispersion. The technique can be generalized for higher dispersion orders. As an example, expressions for Proctor–Wise prism sequences [Opt. Lett. 17, 1295 (1992)] constructed from a variety of glasses are produced. The analytic expressions for this sequence permit an exhaustive search of relative prism translations. The arrangement that produces the smallest cubic dispersion for a given group-delay dispersion and total optical path is found.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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