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Re: Optics simulation with IDL?

I have used IDL & MATLAB for simulating/modeling optics in different
optical systems.  With that being said, I don't really recommend doing it
in either language as there are no pre-fabricated tools for doing it
quickly.  Basically, it amounts to writing code for a bunch of optical
matrices (which you can find in any good optics textbook) and multiplying
them appropriately.  "Ray tracing" is nothing more than matrix operations
which both IDL and MATLAB can do easily.  However, a programmer must first
understand optical matricies to write code for this...

You should look into some of the free optics packages available on the web
(or something like zemax if you want to do real optics
calculations).  However, IMHO you will need a firm grasp of general optics
theory to use any of these tools effectively.  Perhaps if you post more
hints as to exactly what you are trying to do, I can dig through my code
and find a suitable example to post.


On Fri, 18 May 2001, karri wrote:

> Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 14:11:30 +0300
> From: karri <karri@dna.fi>
> Newsgroups: comp.lang.idl-pvwave
> Subject: Re: Optics simulation with IDL?
> On Thu, 17 May 2001, Mike wrote:
> > xvolume? slicer3?
> My need is some kind of ray-tracer. Most IDL volume tools can just build
> 3d objects with or without transparency. I sort of hoped that there would
> be something available for doing ray-tracing as well. But I could not find
> anything useful.
> Time to start learning to use some Linux ray-tracer then...
> > In article <Pine.LNX.4.21.0105171244420.12011-100000@twins.dna.fi>, karri
> > <karri@dna.fi> wrote:
> > > Does IDL have functions for visualizing how light travels through some
> > > transparent plastic objects?
> --
> Thanks,
> Karri