Abstract

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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