Abstract

A simple evaluation of the phase change in a diffracted wave, in terms of the Cornu spiral, is presented to complement the well-known intensity change, which is routinely obtained for this elegant graphical construction of the Fresnel integrals. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first presentation of this evaluation. It is shown that the phase of a wave diffracted by a slit is equal to the slope of the line tangent to the Cornu spiral, shifted by π/4.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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