Path-integral derivation of the complex ABCD Huygens integral

E. M. Wright, J. C. Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The Huygens integral, or Green’s function, for paraxial beam propagation in a generalized lenslike medium is derived as a Feynman path integral involving a summation over real rays. This formulation provides a physically intuitive understanding of the structure of the Green’s function. The path integral is evaluated by introducing in a consistent manner the notion of complex rays, and the familiar result for the Huygens integral in terms of the complex ABCD matrix of the medium is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1751-1755
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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