Abstract

The exact solution is found for plane wave diffraction by an arbitrary phase step. The analysis is performed by using the Huygens–Fresnel principle and the superposition integral, where every secondary wave was identified with the surface element field of the actual electromagnetic wave. The dependence of the total field structure on the height of the phase step is analyzed. The formation algorithm is demonstrated for the primary wave component of the edge diffraction, which has a singular nature and determines nearly all physical properties of this phenomenon.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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