Abstract

To generalize the theory of far-field caustics, three theorems and several corollaries are presented in this paper. Using the law of reflection and catastrophe theory we have established conditions to predict caustic patterns in a 3-D space, which were created from the reflection of a light beam from an analytically known surface. The general theory was readily reduced to the already known cases of diffraction, indicating the validity of the general theory. Experimental evidence in two simple cases of reflectors, consisting of triangular and rectangular membranes, corroborated the results of the theory.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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