Abstract

It is shown that in the limit of a small step length a ray equation can be attributed to the beam-propagation method. The equation is valid in the nonparaxial case but does not agree with the standard geometrical optics ray equation even in the paraxial limit. The beam-propagation method will not therefore predict the correct focal length of a lens. This is illustrated by a numerical example.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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