Most solutions for electromagnetic diffraction by a circular aperture in a perfectly conducting plane screen are for an incident homogeneous (propagating) plane wave. When the aperture is electrically small (dimensions small compared to the wavelength), the well-known transmission coefficient behaves as the fourth power of the diameter/wavelength. We consider the case in which the incident field is an inhomogeneous (evanescent) plane wave. Numerical calculations for the electrically small circular aperture show that the transmission coefficient for an inhomogeneous plane wave can be substantially greater than for a homogeneous plane wave at the same frequency. This observation may be helpful in explaining the increased transmission recently reported for electrically small apertures in plane screens with modifications. The numerical calculations for the electrically small aperture are in agreement with results from approximate analytical expressions that are based on the equivalent electric and magnetic dipole moments for the electrically small complementary disk.
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