Abstract

An intuitive argument is presented for the phase anomaly, that is, the 180° phase shift of a light wave in passing through a focus. The treatment is based on the geometrical properties of Gaussian light beams, and suggests a new viewpoint for understanding the origin of the phase shift. Generalizing the argument by including higher-order modes of the light field allows the case of a spherical wave to be treated.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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