Abstract

We present an in-depth analysis of Young’s slit experiment when solely a single slit of the doublet is illuminated by a focused laser beam at visible and thermal infrared wavelengths. In line with the recent results obtained by Kuzmin et al.. [Opt. Lett. 32, 445 (2007) ], even if only a single slit is illuminated by a focused beam, we show that the far-field pattern exhibits sinusoidal Young’s fringes. Thanks to fully vectorial electromagnetic computations and to a simple model, we provide a comprehensive discussion of the nature of surface waves at work in the experiment.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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