Abstract

We describe the interference between two caustics of diffraction fields that are generated in a double-curve-shaped-slit interferometer. One of the slits is obtained from the other through a projective mapping in the normal direction. In this way the diffraction fields present the same caustic region because the slit functions have a common evolute. Catastrophe functions are used for describing the optical path length of the rays involved. We show that the phase difference between the diffracted rays can also be considered a catastrophe function, which permits us to describe the geometry of the interference pattern because its singular points correspond to organized regions of the interference pattern. Experimental results are shown.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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