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I wish to determine the path taken by a light ray between two points, $a$ and $b$, through an anisotropic medium. More specifically, this medium has an index of refraction which varies as an exponential function of depth.

I'm not terribly familiar with the methods of raytracing in computer graphics, however I understand that such problems are within the domain of raytracing. Algorithmically, how might such a path be determined (ideally, more efficiently than writing and solving systems of differential equations)?

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I think the term for this would be "medium with a varying index of refraction"; the term "anisotropic medium" more typically refers to scattering media where the scattering coefficients depend on the direction of the ray (e.g. microflake models). Anyway, there seem to be a few papers on the topic that I was able to find with a quick web search.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! This helps considerably. $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 13:27

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