Rayleigh's pseudo-vectorial theory of the diffraction of polarized light by apertures which are small compared to the wavelength of light is analyzed with respect to its mathematical rigor and physical significance. It was found that the results published by Rayleigh and Bouwkamp for s-polarized incident do not obey the conditions assumed in their derivation and must therefore be dismissed. It was also found that the theory leads to paradoxical predictions concerning the polarization of the diffracted field, and it was concluded that the pseudo-vectorial approach is intrinsically incapable of describing polarization effects.
Citation: Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -
Volume: 111 No. 1
NIST Pub Series: Journal of Research (NIST JRES)
Pub Type: NIST Pubs
diffraction, narrow slits, optics, polarization, pseudo-vectorial theory, scalar theory, small circular apertures, transmission coefficients