Abstract

A new class of imaging systems that do not require the use of lenses or similar optical devices is introduced and theoretically investigated. In particular, it is demonstrated that, if an arbitrary plane object is illuminated by an appropriate spherical wave front (generated from a monochromatic point source), then a magnified image of the object intensity distribution can be observed in any transversal plane along the light-propagation direction within the far-field (Fraunhofer) diffraction region. The phenomenon is based on the fact that, under certain conditions, the spherical wave front can modify the energy’s angular spectrum of the field distribution in the object plane such that this spectrum replicates the spatial intensity distribution of the object.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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