Since diffraction is a scattering process in principle, light propagation through one aperture in a screen is discussed in the light-scattering theory. Through specific calculation, the expression of the electric field observed at an observation point is obtained and is used not only to explain why Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is a good approximation when the screen is both opaque and sufficiently thin but also to demonstrate that the mathematical and physical problems faced by Kirchhoff’s theory are avoided in the light-scattering theory.
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