Solutions are found to the wave equations that describe the steady-state propagation of electromagnetic radiation through an isotropic inhomogeneous medium capable of an irreversible exchange of energy with the radiation field. These solutions are obtained for media in which the inhomogeneity consists of a slow variation of the relevant material parameters along one particular direction in space. The mechanism by means of which energy is dissipated in matter may involve the conductivity of the medium, or by magneticor electric-dipole allowed transitions in the medium.
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