Abstract

In “Flatland optics: fundamentals” [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1755 (2000)] we described the basic principles of two-dimensional (2D) optics and showed that a wavelength λ in three-dimensional (3D) space (x, y, z) may appear in Flatland (x, z) as a wave with another wavelength, Λ=λ/cosα. The tilt angle α can be modified by a 3D (Spaceland) individual who then is able to influence the 2D optics in a way that must appear to be magical to 2D Flatland individuals—in the spirit of E. A. Abbott’s science fiction story [Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions, 6th ed. (Dover, New York, 1952)] of 1884. We now want to establish the reality or objectivity of the 2D wavelength Λ by some basic experiments similar to those that demonstrated roughly 200 years ago the wave nature of light. Specifically, we describe how to measure the 2D wavelength Λ by mean of five different arrangements that involve Young’s biprism configuration, Talbot’s self-imaging effect, measuring the focal length of a Fresnel zone plate, and letting light be diffracted by a double slit and by a grating. We also performed experiments with most of these arrangements. The results reveal that the theoretical wavelength, as predicted by our Flatland optics theory, does indeed coincide with the wavelength Λ as measured by Flatland experiments. Finally, we present an alternative way to understand Flatland optics in the spatial frequency domains of Flatland and Spaceland.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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