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The complex ray theory of Budden & Terry (1971) has been used to study ion cyclotron whistlers in the topside ionosphere. A study of mode coupling processes by the use of ray tracing is impossible using standard real ray theory, but they can sometimes be handled by using complex rays and complex space. Losses by coupling have a similar effect to losses by collisional damping, and large coupling losses produce large complex lateral deviation in the ray path, which in turn requires the use ofdoi:10.1098/rspa.1978.0176 fatcat:yasy3ryy6zdjhgc6oce2xa6qva