Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Optical Diffraction in Close Proximity to Plane Apertures. II. Comparison of Half-Plane Diffraction Theories

Published

Author(s)

Klaus Mielenz

Abstract

The accuracy and physical significance of the classical Rayleigh-Sommerfield and Kirchhoff diffraction integrals are assessed in the context of Sommerfield s rigorous theory of half-plane diffraction and Maxwell s equations. It Is shown that the Rayleigh-Sommerfield integrals are in satisfactory agreement with Sommerfield s theory in most of the positive near zone, except at sub-wavelength distances from the screen.. On account of the bidirectionalnature of diffraction by metallic screens the Rayleigh-Sommerfield integrals themselves cannot be used for irradiance calculations, but must be resolved into forward and reverse components and it is found that Kirchhoff s integral is the appropriate measure of the forward irradiance. Because of the inadequate boundary conditions assumed in their derivation the Rayleigh-Sommerfeld and Kirchhoff integrals do not correctly describe the flow of energy through the aperture.
Citation
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -
Volume
108 No. 1

Keywords

bidirectional fields, diffraction, half plane, irradiance, Kirchhoff, Maxwell, metallic screen, near zone, optics

Citation

Mielenz, K. (2003), Optical Diffraction in Close Proximity to Plane Apertures. II. Comparison of Half-Plane Diffraction Theories, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created January 1, 2003, Updated June 2, 2021