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Etendue or étendue (; ) is a property of
light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nanometres (nm), corresponding to frequency, fr ...

light
in an
optical system Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of optical instruments, instruments that use or Photodetector, detect it. Optics usually describes t ...

optical system
, which characterizes how "spread out" the light is in area and angle. It corresponds to the beam parameter product (BPP) in
Gaussian beam In optics, a Gaussian beam is a Light beam, beam of electromagnetic radiation with high Monochrome, monochromaticity whose Envelope (waves), amplitude envelope in the transverse plane is given by a Gaussian function; this also implies a Gaussi ...
optics. Other names for etendue include acceptance, throughput, light grasp, light-gathering power, optical extent, and the AΩ product. ''Throughput'' and ''AΩ product'' are especially used in
radiometry Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic field, electromagnetic (EM) field, which propagate through space and carry momentu ...
and radiative transfer where it is related to the
view factor In radiative heat transfer, a view factor, F_, is the proportion of the radiation which leaves surface A that strikes surface B. In a complex 'scene' there can be any number of different objects, which can be divided in turn into even more surfaces ...
(or shape factor). It is a central concept in
nonimaging optics Nonimaging optics (also called anidolic optics)Roland Winston et al., ''Nonimaging Optics'', Academic Press, 2004 R. John Koshel (Editor), ''Illumination Engineering: Design with Nonimaging Optics'', Wiley, 2013 is the branch of optics concerned wi ...
.Roland Winston et al.,, ''Nonimaging Optics'', Academic Press, 2004 Matthew S. Brennesholtz, Edward H. Stupp, ''Projection Displays'', John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2008 From the source point of view, etendue is the product of the area of the source and the
solid angle In geometry, a solid angle (symbol: ) is a measure of the amount of the field of view from some particular point that a given object covers. That is, it is a measure of how large the object appears to an observer looking from that point. The poi ...

solid angle
that the system's
entrance pupil In an optics, optical system, the entrance pupil is the optical image of the physical aperture stop, as 'seen' through the front (the object side) of the lens system. The corresponding image of the aperture as seen through the back of the lens s ...
subtends as seen from the source. Equivalently, from the system point of view, the etendue equals the area of the entrance pupil times the solid angle the source subtends as seen from the pupil. These definitions must be applied for infinitesimally small "elements" of area and solid angle, which must then be summed over both the source and the diaphragm as shown below. Etendue may be considered to be a volume in
phase space In Dynamical systems theory, dynamical system theory, a phase space is a Space (mathematics), space in which all possible states of a system are represented, with each possible state corresponding to one unique point in the phase space. F ...

phase space
. Etendue never decreases in any optical system where optical power is conserved. A perfect optical system produces an image with the same etendue as the source. The etendue is related to the Lagrange invariant and the optical invariant, which share the property of being constant in an ideal optical system. The
radiance In radiometry Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic field, electromagnetic (EM) field, which propagate through space ...
of an optical system is equal to the derivative of the
radiant flux In radiometry, radiant flux or radiant power is the radiant energy emitted, reflected, transmitted, or received per unit time, and spectral flux or spectral power is the radiant flux per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the Spec ...
with respect to the etendue.


Definition

An infinitesimal surface element, dS, with normal n''S'' is immersed in a medium of
refractive index In optics, the refractive index (or refraction index) of an optical medium is a dimensionless number that gives the indication of the light bending ability of that medium. The refractive index determines how much the path of light is bent, or ...

refractive index
''n''. The surface is crossed by (or emits) light confined to a solid angle, d''Ω'', at an angle ''θ'' with the normal n''S''. The area of d''S'' projected in the direction of the light propagation is . The etendue of an infinitesimal bundle of light crossing dS is defined as \mathrmG = n^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta\, \mathrm\Omega. Etendue is the product of geometric extent and the squared refractive index of a medium through which the beam propagates. Because angles, solid angles, and refractive indices are dimensionless quantities, etendue is often expressed in units of area (given by dS). However, it can alternatively be expressed in units of area (square meters) multiplied by solid angle (steradians).


In free space

Consider a light source ''Σ'', and a light detector ''S'', both of which are extended surfaces (rather than differential elements), and which are separated by a medium of refractive index ''n'' that is perfectly transparent (shown). To compute the etendue of the system, one must consider the contribution of each point on the surface of the light source as they cast rays to each point on the receiver. ''Wikilivre de Photographie'', ''Notion d'étendue géométrique'' (in French). Accessed 27 Jan 2009. According to the definition above, the etendue of the light crossing d''Σ'' towards d''S'' is given by: \mathrmG_\Sigma = n^2\, \mathrm\Sigma \cos \theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\Omega_\Sigma = n^2\, \mathrm\Sigma \cos \theta_\Sigma \frac where d''Ω''Σ is the solid angle defined by area d''S'' at area d''Σ'', and ''d'' is the distance between the two areas. Similarly, the etendue of the light crossing d''S'' coming from d''Σ'' is given by: \mathrmG_S = n^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta_S\, \mathrm\Omega_S = n^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta_S \frac, where d''Ω''''S'' is the solid angle defined by area dΣ. These expressions result in \mathrmG_\Sigma = \mathrmG_S, showing that etendue is conserved as light propagates in free space. The etendue of the whole system is then: G = \int_\Sigma\!\int_S \mathrmG. If both surfaces d''Σ'' and d''S'' are immersed in air (or in vacuum), and the expression above for the etendue may be written as \mathrmG = \mathrm\Sigma\, \cos \theta_\Sigma\, \frac = \pi\, \mathrm\Sigma\,\left(\frac\, \mathrmS\right) = \pi\, \mathrm\Sigma\, F_, where ''F''d''Σ''→d''S'' is the
view factor In radiative heat transfer, a view factor, F_, is the proportion of the radiation which leaves surface A that strikes surface B. In a complex 'scene' there can be any number of different objects, which can be divided in turn into even more surfaces ...
between differential surfaces d''Σ'' and d''S''. Integration on d''Σ'' and d''S'' results in ''G'' = π''Σ'' ''F''''Σ''→''S'' which allows the etendue between two surfaces to be obtained from the view factors between those surfaces, as provided in
list of view factors for specific geometry cases
or in several
heat transfer Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of thermal energy (heat In thermodynamics, heat is defined as the form of energy crossing the boundary of a thermodynamic s ...

heat transfer
textbooks.


Conservation of etendue

The etendue of a given bundle of light is conserved: etendue can be increased, but not decreased in any optical system. This means that any system that concentrates light from some source onto a smaller area must always increase the solid angle of incidence (that is, the area of the sky that the source subtends). For example, a magnifying glass can increase the intensity of sunlight onto a small spot, but does so because, viewed from the spot that the light is concentrated onto, the apparent size of the sun is increased proportional to the concentration. As shown below, etendue is conserved as light travels through free space and at refractions or reflections. It is then also conserved as light travels through optical systems where it undergoes perfect reflections or refractions. However, if light was to hit, say, a diffuser, its solid angle would increase, increasing the etendue. Etendue can then remain constant or it can increase as light propagates through an optic, but it cannot decrease. This is a direct result of the fact that
entropy Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property, that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty. The term and the concept are used in diverse fields, from classical thermodynam ...

entropy
must be constant or increasing. Conservation of etendue can be derived in different contexts, such as from optical first principles, from Hamiltonian optics or from the
second law of thermodynamics The second law of thermodynamics is a physical law based on universal experience concerning heat and Energy transformation, energy interconversions. One simple statement of the law is that heat always moves from hotter objects to colder objects ( ...
. The conservation of etendue in free space is related to the reciprocity theorem for view factors.


In refractions and reflections

The conservation of etendue discussed above applies to the case of light propagation in free space, or more generally, in a medium of any
refractive index In optics, the refractive index (or refraction index) of an optical medium is a dimensionless number that gives the indication of the light bending ability of that medium. The refractive index determines how much the path of light is bent, or ...

refractive index
. In particular, etendue is conserved in refractions and reflections. Figure "etendue in refraction" shows an infinitesimal surface d''S'' on the ''xy'' plane separating two media of refractive indices ''n''''Σ'' and ''n''''S''. The normal to d''S'' points in the direction of the ''z'' axis. Incoming light is confined to a solid angle d''Ω''''Σ'' and reaches d''S'' at an angle ''θ''''Σ'' to its normal. Refracted light is confined to a solid angle d''Ω''''S'' and leaves d''S'' at an angle ''θ''''S'' to its normal. The directions of the incoming and refracted light are contained in a plane making an angle ''φ'' to the ''x'' axis, defining these directions in a
spherical coordinate system In mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented ...

spherical coordinate system
. With these definitions,
Snell's law Snell's law (also known as Snell–Descartes law and ibn-Sahl law and the law of refraction) is a Mathematical formula, formula used to describe the relationship between the angle of incidence (optics), angles of incidence and refraction, when ...

Snell's law
of refraction can be written as n_\Sigma \sin \theta_\Sigma = n_S \sin \theta_S, and its derivative relative to ''θ'' n_\Sigma \cos \theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\theta_\Sigma = n_S \cos \theta_S \mathrm\theta_S, multiplied by each other result in n_\Sigma^2 \cos \theta_\Sigma\!\left(\sin \theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\varphi\right) = n_S^2 \cos \theta_S\!\left(\sin \theta_S\, \mathrm\theta_S\, \mathrm\varphi\right), where both sides of the equation were also multiplied by d''φ'' which does not change on refraction. This expression can now be written as n_\Sigma^2 \cos \theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\Omega_\Sigma = n_S^2 \cos \theta_S\, \mathrm\Omega_S, and multiplying both sides by d''S'' we get n_\Sigma^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta_\Sigma\, \mathrm\Omega_\Sigma = n_S^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta_S\, \mathrm\Omega_S that is \mathrmG_\Sigma = \mathrmG_S, showing that the etendue of the light refracted at d''S'' is conserved. The same result is also valid for the case of a reflection at a surface d''S'', in which case and ''θ''''Σ'' = ''θ''S.


Brightness theorem

A consequence of the conserveration of etendue is the ''brightness theorem'', which states that no optical system can increase the
brightness Brightness is an attribute of visual perception in which a source appears to be radiating or reflecting light. In other words, brightness is the perception elicited by the luminance of a visual target. The perception is not linear to luminance, ...

brightness
of the light emitted from a source to a higher value than the brightness of the surface of that source (where "brightness" is defined as the optical power emitted per unit solid angle per unit emitting or receiving area).Quimby, R. S. (17 March 2006),
Solid Angle and the Brightness Theorem
Appendix A, ''Photonics and Lasers: An Introduction'', Wiley Science Library. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471791598.app1. Retrieved 13 Sept 2022.


Conservation of basic radiance

Radiance In radiometry Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic field, electromagnetic (EM) field, which propagate through space ...
of a surface is related to étendue by: L_ = n^2 \frac, where *\Phi_\mathrm is the
radiant flux In radiometry, radiant flux or radiant power is the radiant energy emitted, reflected, transmitted, or received per unit time, and spectral flux or spectral power is the radiant flux per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the Spec ...
emitted, reflected, transmitted or received; *''n'' is the refractive index in which that surface is immersed; *''G'' is the étendue of the light beam. As the light travels through an ideal optical system, both the étendue and the radiant flux are conserved. Therefore, ''basic radiance'' defined as:William Ross McCluney, ''Introduction to Radiometry and Photometry'', Artech House, Boston, MA, 1994 L_^* = \frac is also conserved. In real systems, the étendue may increase (for example due to scattering) or the radiant flux may decrease (for example due to absorption) and, therefore, basic radiance may decrease. However, étendue may not decrease and radiant flux may not increase and, therefore, basic radiance may not increase.


Etendue as a volume in phase space

In the context of Hamiltonian optics, at a point in space, a light ray may be completely defined by a point , a unit
Euclidean vector In mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in ...
indicating its direction and the refractive index ''n'' at point r. The optical momentum of the ray at that point is defined by \mathbf = n(\cos \alpha_X, \cos \alpha_Y, \cos \alpha_Z) = (p, q, r), where . The geometry of the optical momentum vector is illustrated in figure "optical momentum". In a
spherical coordinate system In mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented ...

spherical coordinate system
p may be written as \mathbf = n\!\left(\sin \theta \cos \varphi, \sin \theta \sin \varphi, \cos \theta \right), from which \mathrmp\, \mathrmq = \frac \mathrm\theta\, \mathrm\varphi = \left(\frac \frac - \frac \frac\right) \mathrm\theta\, \mathrm\varphi = n^2 \cos \theta \sin \theta\, \mathrm\theta\, \mathrm\varphi = n^2 \cos \theta\, \mathrm\Omega, and therefore, for an infinitesimal area d''S'' = d''x'' d''y'' on the ''xy'' plane immersed in a medium of refractive index ''n'', the etendue is given by \mathrmG = n^2\, \mathrmS \cos \theta\, \mathrm\Omega = \mathrmx\, \mathrmy\, \mathrmp\, \mathrmq, which is an infinitesimal volume in phase space ''x'', ''y'', ''p'', ''q''. Conservation of etendue in phase space is the equivalent in optics to Liouville's theorem in classical mechanics. Etendue as volume in phase space is commonly used in
nonimaging optics Nonimaging optics (also called anidolic optics)Roland Winston et al., ''Nonimaging Optics'', Academic Press, 2004 R. John Koshel (Editor), ''Illumination Engineering: Design with Nonimaging Optics'', Wiley, 2013 is the branch of optics concerned wi ...
.


Maximum concentration

Consider an infinitesimal surface d''S'', immersed in a medium of refractive index ''n'' crossed by (or emitting) light inside a cone of angle ''α''. The etendue of this light is given by \mathrmG = n^2\, \mathrmS \int \cos \theta\, \mathrm\Omega = n^2 dS \int_0^\!\int_0^\alpha \cos \theta \sin \theta\, \mathrm\theta\, \mathrm\varphi = \pi n^2 \mathrmS \sin^2 \alpha. Noting that ''n'' sin ''α'' is the
numerical aperture In optics, the numerical aperture (NA) of an optical system is a dimensionless number that characterizes the range of angles over which the system can accept or emit light. By incorporating index of refraction in its definition, NA has the propert ...

numerical aperture
''NA'', of the beam of light, this can also be expressed as \mathrmG = \pi\, \mathrmS\, \mathrm^2. Note that d''Ω'' is expressed in a
spherical coordinate system In mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented ...

spherical coordinate system
. Now, if a large surface ''S'' is crossed by (or emits) light also confined to a cone of angle ''α'', the etendue of the light crossing ''S'' is G = \pi n^2 \sin^2 \alpha \int \mathrmS = \pi n^2 S \sin^2 \alpha = \pi S \,\mathrm^2. The limit on maximum concentration (shown) is an optic with an entrance aperture ''S'', in air () collecting light within a solid angle of angle 2''α'' (its acceptance angle) and sending it to a smaller area receiver ''Σ'' immersed in a medium of refractive index ''n'', whose points are illuminated within a solid angle of angle 2''β''. From the above expression, the etendue of the incoming light is G_\mathrm = \pi S \sin^2 \alpha and the etendue of the light reaching the receiver is G_\mathrm = \pi n^2 \Sigma \sin^2 \beta. Conservation of etendue then gives C = \frac = n^2 \frac, where ''C'' is the concentration of the optic. For a given angular aperture ''α'', of the incoming light, this concentration will be maximum for the maximum value of sin ''β'', that is ''β'' = π/2. The maximum possible concentration is then C_\mathrm = \frac. In the case that the incident index is not unity, we have G_\mathrm = \pi n_\mathrm S \sin^2 \alpha = G_\mathrm = \pi n_\mathrm \Sigma \sin^2 \beta, and so C = \left(\frac\right)^2, and in the best-case limit of ''β'' = π/2, this becomes C_\mathrm = \frac. If the optic were a
collimator A collimator is a device which narrows a beam of particles or waves. To narrow can mean either to cause the directions of motion to become more aligned in a specific direction (i.e., make collimated light A collimated beam of light or other ...

collimator
instead of a concentrator, the light direction is reversed and conservation of etendue gives us the minimum aperture, ''S'', for a given output full angle 2''α''.


See also

* Light field * Beam parameter product *
Symplectic geometry Symplectic geometry is a branch of differential geometry and differential topology that studies symplectic manifolds; that is, differentiable manifolds equipped with a closed differential form, closed, nondegenerate form, nondegenerate different ...
*
Noether's theorem Noether's theorem or Noether's first theorem states that every differentiable symmetry Symmetry (from grc, συμμετρία "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement") in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonio ...
* Beam emittance


References


Further reading

* *Xutao Sun ''et al.'', 2006, "Etendue analysis and measurement of light source with elliptical reflector", ''Displays'' (27), 56–61. * Randall Munroe explains why it's impossible to light a fire with concentrated moonlight using a etendue-conservation argument. {{cite web , last1=Munroe , first1=Randall , title=Fire from Moonlight , url=https://what-if.xkcd.com/145/ , website=What If? , accessdate=28 July 2020 Optics