Abstract

The problem of electromagnetic waves propagating in inhomogeneous media is formulated within the paraxial approximation. The analysis is restricted to a medium with a plane and smooth inhomogeneity. The general form of a Gaussian beam is obtained in terms of the permittivity and permeability of the medium. Particular attention is paid to the case of internal reflection, where a short-wavelength approximation breaks down; a possible treatment of the problem is proposed. A simple model is worked out to illustrate the formalism.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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