Next-Genera­tion Optics Soft­ware: Trends in Technology

Webi­nar in Coope­ra­tion with Pho­to­nics Media


Phy­si­cal optics cal­cu­la­tion soft­ware typi­cally pro­vi­des a sin­gle sol­ving pro­gram for Maxwell’s equa­tions. Field sol­vers like finite-dif­fe­rence time-domain (FDTD) or finite ele­ment method (FEM) enable the mode­ling and design of spe­ci­fic micro- and nano-optics struc­tures but, because of their high nume­ri­cal effort, which tends to scale up with the size of the sys­tem, are not by them­sel­ves a rea­listic approach to sys­tem modeling.

But ray tra­cing is not enough to cal­cu­late the point spread func­tion (PSF) and modu­la­tion trans­fer func­tion (MTF) in a lens sys­tem. To com­pen­sate, ray-tra­cing soft­ware deve­lo­pers may include phy­si­cal optics noti­ons in their model-buil­ding pro­grams. In this way, the cen­tral tech­no­logy app­lied throughout the ray-tra­cing soft­ware addres­ses the con­nec­tion bet­ween ray and phy­si­cal optics at the exit pupil of an opti­cal sys­tem model. Deve­lo­p­ments in modern optics and pho­to­nics have incre­a­sed the demand for a more tho­rough inclu­sion of phy­si­cal optics in sys­tems mode­ling. One such example of a deman­ding sys­tem is AR/MR glas­ses, which include micro- and nano-optics, par­ti­ally cohe­rent sources, or a com­bi­na­tion of all of these.

Simi­lar to sol­ving for PSF and MTF in ray-tra­cing soft­ware, adding phy­si­cal optics con­si­de­ra­ti­ons to any mode­ling pro­gram is often approa­ched by asking how phy­si­cal optics should be incor­po­ra­ted into ray optics soft­ware. But there are pit­falls to this approach. One pro­blem is that it assu­mes one knows in advance where in an opti­cal sys­tem phy­si­cal optics tre­at­ment is nee­ded. This intro­du­ces a risk of mis­sing unfo­re­seen and poten­ti­ally important phy­si­cal effects. But the main pro­blem is one of principle: Light is repre­sen­ted by rays in ray optics and by elec­tro­ma­gne­tic fields in phy­si­cal optics. In gene­ral, rays do not include all field infor­ma­tion. For this rea­son, swit­ching back and forth bet­ween ray optics and phy­si­cal optics cal­cu­la­ti­ons is not sui­ta­ble or prac­ti­cal for suc­cess­ful modeling.

Frank Wyrow­ski of Light­Trans Inter­na­tio­nal intro­du­ces an alter­na­tive approach in this webi­nar: Star­ting from the more gene­ral model of phy­si­cal optics, how can one iden­tify and apply the gene­ra­liz­a­tion of ray optics inside the frame­work of phy­si­cal optics? Wyrow­ski pres­ents the mode­ling soft­ware that results from ans­we­ring this ques­tion, show­ca­sing how phy­si­cal optics mode­ling can be made more prac­ti­cal and use­ful for advan­cing technologies.

Who should attend

Engi­neers and R&D sci­en­tists working with opti­cal sys­tems mode­ling soft­ware who are inte­res­ted in addres­sing the chal­len­ges of inte­gra­ting phy­si­cal optics with ray optics simu­la­ti­ons. This webi­nar offers a nuan­ced per­spec­tive on opti­cal mode­ling para­me­ters, demons­tra­ted with examp­les from app­li­ca­ti­ons that include fiber cou­pling, inter­fe­ro­me­try, AR/MR glas­ses, and diffusers.


Prof. Dr. Frank Wyrow­ski | Foun­der
Frank Wyrow­ski co-foun­ded the com­pany Light­Trans in 1999 and the com­pany Wyrow­ski Pho­to­nics in 2014.
He has been pro­fes­sor of tech­ni­cal phy­sics at the Fried­rich Schil­ler Uni­ver­sity of Jena and head of the App­lied Com­pu­ta­tio­nal Optics Group since 1996. His work as entre­pre­neur, rese­ar­cher, and tea­cher is dedi­ca­ted to deve­lo­ping fast phy­si­cal-optics tech­ni­ques and soft­ware to address the incre­a­sing demand to over­come the limi­ta­ti­ons of ray optics in modern optics and pho­to­nics app­li­ca­ti­ons. Cus­to­mers world­wide bene­fit from his enga­ge­ment through the com­pa­nies’ con­sul­ting and engi­nee­ring ser­vices, and the com­mer­cial opti­cal design soft­ware, Vir­tual­Lab Fusion. Cur­rent R&D topics include app­li­ca­ti­ons such as light­gui­des for AR and VR, light shaping, micro­scopy, inter­fe­ro­me­try, fiber cou­pling, dif­frac­tive and meta len­ses, DOE, HOE, free­form, micro­lens arrays, and phy­si­cal optics theory in general.

Fur­ther Details






Light­Trans Inter­na­tio­nal GmbH
Laura Kat­sch­ma­rek