Abstract

Diffraction of electrically polarized plane waves by a dielectric prism (or wedge) of arbitrary apex angle and refractive index in the range of commonly used dielectric materials is treated by a combined analytical-computational approach. Ray-optical techniques are supplemented by the null-field method (or extended boundary condition). Straightforward modal concepts lead to a system of linear algebraic equations, which, after truncation, are solved by matrix inversion. The field diffracted at the apex is shown by example to be (virtually) entirely outgoing. The accuracy of the computed results is assessed in several ways. Comparison is made of the approach introduced here with two other methods, the first restricted to right-angled prisms and the second valid only for refractive indices moderately close to unity; the numerical agreement is encouraging.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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