Rigorous numerical modeling of optical systems has attracted interest in diverse research areas ranging from biophotonics to photolithography. We report the full-vector electromagnetic numerical simulation of a broadband optical imaging system with partially coherent and unpolarized illumination. The scattering of light from the sample is calculated using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) numerical method. Geometrical optics principles are applied to the scattered light to obtain the intensity distribution at the image plane. Multilayered object spaces are also supported by our algorithm. For the first time, numerical FDTD calculations are directly compared to and shown to agree well with broadband experimental microscopy results.
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