Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008

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ISSN: 2157-5452 (e-only)
ISSN: 1559-3940 (print)
Reflection of various types of waves by layered media

Sergiy Mokhov and Boris Ya. Zeldovich

Vol. 3 (2008), No. 1, 61–75
Abstract

The one-dimensional wave equation describing propagation and reflection of waves in a layered medium is transformed into an exact first-order system for the amplitudes of coupled counter-propagating waves. Any choice of such amplitudes, out of continuous multitude of them, allows one to get an accurate numerical solution of the reflection problem. We discuss relative advantages of particular choices of amplitude.

We also introduce the notion of reflection strength S of a plane wave by a nonabsorbing layer, which is related to the reflection intensity R by R = tanh2S. We show that the total reflection strength by a sequence of elements is bounded above by the sum of the constituent strengths, and bounded below by their difference. Reflection strength is discussed for propagating acoustic waves and quantum mechanical waves. We show that the standard Fresnel reflection may be understood in terms of the variable S as a sum or difference of two contributions, one due to a discontinuity in impedance and the other due to a speed discontinuity.

Keywords
reflection, electromagnetic waves, acoustic waves, continuous spectrum, Schrödinger equation, volume Bragg grating, reflectionless potential
Mathematical Subject Classification 2000
Primary: 34B05, 78A25, 81Q05, 76Q05
Milestones
Received: 14 March 2008
Revised: 30 May 2008
Accepted: 30 May 2008
Published: 11 July 2008
Authors
Sergiy Mokhov
College of Optics and Photonics / CREOL
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Boulevard
Orlando FL 32816-2700
United States
Boris Ya. Zeldovich
College of Optics and Photonics / CREOL
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Boulevard
Orlando FL 32816-2700
United States