High frequency waves near cusp caustics

E. Kalligiannaki*, Th Katsaounis, G. N. Makrakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


It is well known that the usual harmonic ansatz of geometrical optics fails near caustics. However, uniform expansions exist which are valid near and on the caustics, and reduce asymptotically to the usual geometric field far enough from them. In this paper, we apply the Kravtsov-Ludwig technique for computing high-frequency fields near cusp caustics. We compare these fields, with those predicted by the geometrical optics, for a couple of model problems: first, the cusp generated by the evolution of a parabolic initial front in a homogeneous medium, a problem which arises in the high-frequency treatment of cylindrical aberrations, and second, the cusp formed by refraction of the rays emitted from a point source in a stratified medium with a weak interface. It turns out that inside and near the cusp, the geometrical optics solution is significantly different than the Kravtsov-Ludwig solution, but far enough from the caustic that the two solutions are, in fact, in very good agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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