Abstract

A theory of holographic imaging is formulated in terms familiar from conventional optics. The effects of the curvatures and off-axis angles of the reference and read-out waves are described by equivalent thin lenses and prisms. The formation of the true-image wavefield is found to be completely analogous to the conventional imaging of the object wavefield by the equivalent lenses and prisms. To explain the conjugate image, we introduce the concept of time reversal. The conjugate-image wavefield is the time-reversed object wavefield conventionally imaged by equivalent lenses and prisms (and a plane mirror). The finite size and resolution of the photographic plate are taken into account. The size of the plate determines the effective aperture of the equivalent lenses and prisms, it is equivalent to a diaphragm in the hologram plane. The modulation transfer function of the plate has the same effect as a diaphragm inserted in the imaging bundle during the recording (or the reconstruction) with its center at the reference (read-out) point. The two diaphragms limit the field of view and the resolution.

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