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Attention is called to the analogy between linear optical systems and linear two-port electrical networks. For both, the transformation of a pair of oscillating quantities between input and output is of interest. The mapping of polarization by an optical system and of impedance (admittance) by a two-port network is described by a bilinear transformation. Therefore for each transfer property of a system of one type, there is a similar property for the system of the other type. Two-port electrical networks are synthesized whose impedance-(or admittance-) mapping properties are the same as the polarization-mapping properties of a given optical system. The opposite problem of finding the optical analogs of two-port networks is also considered. Besides unifying the methods of handling these two different kinds of systems, the analogy appears fruitful if used reciprocally to simulate electrical networks by optical systems, and vice versa. Linear mechanoacoustic systems have optical analogs besides their well-known electrical analogs.


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