Abstract

Babinet’s principle states that two complementary objects that do not differ in structure but that differ by an exchange of black and white will produce essentially the same diffraction pattern. We study the case in which the black–white exchange is performed in some parts of the objects but not in other parts. Although the study was triggered in the realm of computer holography by specific experiments, it is predominantly fundamental in nature. Our aim is to generalize Babinet’s original principle in various ways. Ties to computer holography are explained but not exploited. Conceivable implications for spatial light modulators, for optical logic, and for array illuminators are mentioned.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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