Abstract

A new method is proposed for calculating the propagation of optical beams in media with slowly (and possibly randomly) varying refractive indices. It utilizes the conservation of the Wigner distribution function in the Liouville approximation along the beam trajectories and discretizes this quantity into a number of four-dimensional Gaussians so that each one retains its Gaussian character along the trajectories. The irradiance is then obtained by analytical integration of wave-vector coordinates over a sum of Gaussians. Conditions are specified for the region of applicability.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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