The fractional Fourier transform is a new topic in optics. To make use of the fractional Fourier transform as an experimental tool, I design a fractional Fourier transformer of variable order: I introduce a lens system that is able to perform equidistant fractional Fourier transforms that cover the whole range of orders and that consist of a minimum number of modules. By module, I mean an elementary fractional Fourier transform of certain order that consists of a lens between two free-space lengths. Because of the commutative additivity of the transform, various fractional orders can be achieved by means of different constellations of the modules. It is possible to perform a large variety of fractional Fourier transforms with a small number of modules.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
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