We are very excited to announce the release of our new flagship product, called Optica EM that is the result of 18+ years of development! Optica EM bridges the gap between geometric ray-tracing and full vector solutions to Maxwell's equations. Optica EM fully supports non-paraxial, polarization-dependent, vector diffraction. Unlike the approaches of rigorous coupled wave theory and finite difference time domain analysis used by some competitors, our electromagnetic simulations of optical systems are based on Huygen's principle and full-vector Green's functions. As a result, Optica EM can accurately model the polarization-dependent behavior from spatially-varying, sub-wavelength structures that span over enormous ranges of space and time. This means that high numeric-aperture systems can be accurately modeled. Please visit our new website (www.opticasoft.com)to learn about Optica EM. For a limited time, current Optica users can upgrade their copy to Optica EM at a greatly reduced price...

Within the next few days, we will be releasing an all new batch of documentation that explains how to make the best use of Optica's electro-magnetic calculations. This Optica EM documentation covers the new functions tailored for the calculation and rendering of polarization vector diffraction in both the near-field and far-field. Starting with Optica's standard ray-tracing, these new functions allow you to model the diffractive behavior of highly complex systems that include nano-structures and high-NA, polarization-dependent optics. In particular, we will be covering the use of Optica EM to model full polarization vector diffraction of laser resonators, gratings, holographic optical elements, axicon lenses, imaging systems, waveguides, photon sieves, and much much more! Thank you! -Donald

April 15, 2019

Happy Tax Day!

This week I added a new capability to Optica EM that vastly expands Optica's capabilies for free-form optical design. This new Optica feature is the result of work that I completed more than ten years ago! The original project was to build a flow-cytometer fluorescence detection system. At the time, I needed to make a five-faceted free-form mirror that served as the heart of a optical multiplexer that directed the detected fluorescent light into five different optical fibers from five laser focal spots collected from a high NA elliptical primary mirror. In addition, the free-form mirror removed the intrinsic optical aberrations present in each of the five optical pathways in order to efficiently couple the light into each multimode fiber. The code development for this special free-form mirror lasted for more than three years!

Until recently, this code simply sat on my hard drive and was not included in Optica. Today, I...

Well, February has come and gone but we are still hard at work on our big release! David and I are presently working together with one of our users to include laser resonators and amplification into the Optica EM mix. The results are very exciting: In addition to being able to model traditional stable resonator cavities, we are predicting the beam output characteristics for unstable resonators!

In other news, my work on a better GUI interface for GUI customization is starting to show fruition and before too long, I can start making video tutorials that demonstrate some of these new GUI customization features. The hallmark of this customization interface is that rather than hiding the Optica language from the user, Optica's language is embraced! This is critical since every user has different needs and the best way to create customized interactive models is through Optica's language. At this point, I am guessing that there are quite a few confused faces about this. I mean: "Can a GUI int...

It has been close to six months since my previous blog ... I thought it might happen more quickly, but things are finally really moving along with our software development!

We have now Christened our new Electro-Magnetic simulation product: Optica EM (surprise!) To stay in keeping with this naming convention, Optica has been renamed: Optica SE (Standard Edition). Our new store is up and running, such that you can even go ahead and buy either Optica SE or Optica EM through it today! We will send you updates to our code for an entire year so there is no downside to being an early adopter! 

However, we have not made a news announcement about our new releases yet because the documentation for Optica EM is not quite finished. In addition, I am currently working feverishly on some really cool new GUI features for both packages. As such, we are targeting our full-blown public announcements for our new website and new product offerings for the end of this month.

As a side note, I h...

Greetings from our new Optica website and my first Blog post! 

As I write these words, my research collaborator Dr David Hayes is putting the finishing touches on a new package for Optica/Mathematica that extends Optica's capabilities to include full-scale electro-magnetic simulations of optical systems!

David has recently retired from Plasma Antennas (a company which he co-founded) that produces microwave feed-antenna devices. Today, after using Optica for 18 years to help his business create electro-magnetic field simulations at 60-100 GHz, David is working with me to develop a new add-on package for Optica that simulates the EM behavior of both free-space and waveguide systems at optical wavelengths. This translates to frequencies that are a million times higher than David's previous work!

Already, David has tested his new code to model a diverse range of examples in both optical and microwave frequencies. Some examples include: axicon-lens focal regi...

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