The caustics of diffraction fields are structures that present a nonlinear phase distribution. The superposition of two caustics presents interesting irradiance distributions, which we analyze within the framework of catastrophe theory. This treatment permits the inclusion of the optical path difference involved in a parametric family, and by employing the geometric theory of diffraction we can analyze the interference patterns in a selective fashion. The theoretical predictions are verified experimentally with a Michelson interferometer.
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