Chapter

Optical Waveguide Theory

pp 208-237

Fundamental properties of modes

  • Allan W. SnyderAffiliated withInstitute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University
  • , John D. LoveAffiliated withInstitute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University

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Abstract

The propagation of light along nonabsorbing optical waveguides in regions sufficiently far from any source of excitation, where the spatial steady state is reached, is most conveniently described by the bound modes of the waveguide. Bound modes are solutions of the source-free Maxwell equations, and, like the modes of vibration of a stretched membrane, are formed by resonance conditions in the waveguide cross-section. In the spatial steady state, bound modes are the building blocks for describing light propagation. The fields of the waveguide are represented by an expansion over these modes.