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# 78: Optics, electromagnetic theory

## Introduction

Optics, electromagnetic theory: the study of the propagation and evolution of electromagnetic waves, including topics of interference and diffraction. Besides the usual branches of analysis, this area includes geometric topics such as the paths of light rays.

## Applications and related fields

For quantum optics, See 81V80

This image slightly hand-edited for clarity.

## Subfields

There is only one division (78A) but it is subdivided:

• 78A02: Foundations
• 78A05: Geometric optics
• 78A10: Physical optics
• 78A15: Electron optics
• 78A20: Space charge waves
• 78A25: Electromagnetic theory, general
• 78A30: Electro- and magnetostatics
• 78A35: Motion of charged particles
• 78A46: Inverse scattering problems [new in 2000]
• 78A48: Composite media; random media [new in 2000]
• 78A50: Antennas, wave-guides
• 78A55: Technical applications
• 78A97: Mathematically heuristic optics and electromagnetic theory (must also be assigned at least one other classification number in this section)
• 78A99: Miscellaneous topics

Starting in the year 2000 this area will be divided into two subsections, 78A: General, and 78M: Basic methods .

Browse all (old) classifications for this area at the AMS.

## Software and tables

Optics packages from the Computer Physics Communications program library.

SCATTERLIB Light Scattering Codes Library.

Electromagnetics from the Computer Physics Communications program library.

Electromagnetic Applications at NERSC

Summary, pointer for Mathematical application called Optica

## Selected topics at this site

• Is there a mathematical model of color?
• Not really math but an intriguing topic: the measurement of color ("what wavelength is brown?":-) ). Citations and pointers.
• A pointer to a rainbow page seemed appropriate here.
• Modeling the passage of light through asymmetric planetary atmospheres.
• What path does a light ray take?
• The Eikonal equation: describing the bending of light through an inhomogeneous medium.