Abstract

The topology of a partially developed speckle field was studied by use of interference techniques through computer simulation. Amplitude and phase structures in the vicinity of caustics for a coherent radiation field scattered at a surface with large inhomogeneities were investigated. It was confirmed that the caustics are indispensible components of the procedure for the formation of networks of amplitude zeros for a coherent field scattered by a rough surface with large inhomogeneities. It is shown that the formation of interference forklets in the field gives evidence of changes in the field’s topology, as these forklets are a diagnostic sign of transition from a caustic to a three-dimensional pattern of a diffraction catastrophe.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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