A vectorial theory that brings new insight into the nature of diffraction is used to
obtain mathematical expressions that evaluate diffraction patterns in the near field.
The equations allow us to discriminate between the contributions of the vectorial and
the scalar approaches. In the near field we studied the pattern of light diffracted
through a circular aperture, and it was proved that the vectorial approach is
significant in a region very near the circular aperture. In spite of the obvious
differences between the circular aperture and other obstacles, the present theory may
also be used with other geometries.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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