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The detail and rapid oscillations in the curves of Fig. 2 can best be appreciated by referring to the expanded-scale figures in the experimental section of this paper.
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From a superficial examination of Fig. 2, it appears that diffraction in the limit of small beam sizes is not purely an edge effect as predicted by Huygens' principle. It is possible to show, however, (see Refs. 6, 7, 22) that, even for small incident beams, diffraction is an edge effect. The size and rate of expansion of the beam play ever-increasing roles in determining the exact nature of the diffraction pattern as the beam size is reduced.
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