Abstract

We derive variational expressions for the s- and p-wave reflection amplitudes at a nonuniform (and possibly absorbing) planar layer between like media, for example, a soap film in air. These variational expressions are correct at grazing incidence, in contrast to first-order perturbation-theory reflection amplitudes, which diverge there. The variational reflection amplitudes are also correct to second order in the ratio of the film thickness to the wavelength of the incident wave. The results for an anisotropic film are also given.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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