Abstract

A procedure is developed for the determination of the Taylor coefficients of the characteristic function of an optical system given the corresponding coefficients of its component parts. No symmetry properties are assumed, and, in principle, there is no limitation to the order to which the calculations can be carried out. Whereas earlier investigations have assumed that the elementary characteristic functions to be concatenated are those of a region bounded by two planes and containing one refracting surface, it is suggested that the homogeneous regions between two such refracting surfaces (i.e., the optical elements or the air spaces between them) are more appropriate. Since the point characteristic of such regions can be readily calculated, this concatenation procedure provides a basis for the analysis of most optical systems.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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