# Adding and summing overlapping Airy (or Gaussian) disks on a plane

In a previous question of mine, I asked how one might draw an Airy disk on a plane: Generating an Airy disk on a plane, and recieved some impressive answers from the users Timothy Wofford and m_goldberg

Might it be possible to have a 2D plane in the contexts of a Graphics3D environment, and generate an Airy disk wherever one clicks (a simpler 2D Gaussian curve would also be just fine)? Or, perhaps more simply, to generate such disks at a specified set of two-dimensional coordiantes? The hope is that this can be done s.t. overlapping sections of one or more curves can be summed.

The most important questions are:

• what do you need it for and what precission you are after?
• Is the field od peaks going to be dense?
• Airy function is disappearing very fast so maybe it's not important to keep track of the area outside the second minimum and approximation with 0 there is sufficient?

You can answer those questions and adjust the following code as you need. Here it is the straightforward implementation so it can be a little bit slow while adding points.

airy2[{x_, y_}, {x0_, y0_}] := With[{s = Sqrt[(x - x0)^2 + (y - y0)^2]},
(2 BesselJ[1, s]/s)^2]

With[{ran = 15},
With[{opt = {ImageSize -> 300},
Gopt = {BaseStyle -> [email protected], GridLines -> Automatic, Frame -> True,
PlotRange -> ran},
Popt = {Evaluated -> True, ColorFunction -> "Rainbow", PlotPoints -> 20,
PlotRange -> {{-ran, ran}, {-ran, ran}, All}}
},
DynamicModule[{pkt = {{0, 0}}},
Row[{
ClickPane[Graphics[Dynamic@Point[pkt], opt, Gopt], AppendTo[pkt, #] &]
,
Dynamic @ Plot3D[Plus @@ (airy2[{x, y}, #] & /@ pkt),
{x, -ran, ran}, {y, -ran, ran}, opt, Popt]

}]
]
]]


• This is just for a visualization application for a couple of points, and the field of points is not going to be very dense. So this is pretty much precisely what I was looking for. You make a good point that we should be able to zero-out the ring around the base of the Airy function curve without much effect.
– CRJ
Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 13:48
• Out of curiousity though, what is the precision here? Can it be turned down to achieve a speedup?
– CRJ
Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 13:49