We comment on the recent paper by Harvey and Krywonos [Appl. Opt. 41, 3790–3795 (2002)], in which approximate irradiance calculations along the axis of a circular aperture illuminated by a plane wave are performed. As the starting point of their calculations, an approximated version (valid for z > λ) of the Rayleigh-Sommerfeld diffraction integral is used. They based their numerical conclusions on a misleading “near field criterion,” which guides the readers to the wrong idea that their calculations are valid even for the very near field behind the aperture. Their ideas are not original; the exact calculations of diffracted fields behind a circular aperture have been known for 40 years [J. Opt. Soc. 51, 1050–1054 (1961)].
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