Abstract

The Fresnel diffraction of periodic objects at rational fractions of the Talbot distance is described in terms of the Wigner distribution function (WDF). The analysis provides a heuristic model for understanding the formation of the diffraction patterns as well as for evaluating the complex amplitude at any fractional Talbot plane. Furthermore, certain symmetry properties of the Fresnel-diffracted wave field can be derived directly from the WDF. Additionally, a discussion is given on how periodic signals and information about the phase are encoded in the WDF.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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