Various studies of diffraction of electromagnetic waves motivated by and applied to work on microwave aperture antennas are reviewed in relation to their significance to the study of optics. A critique of the Kirchhoff formula is presented to show the essentially heuristic nature of the formula and its range of applicability. Other approaches to high-frequency approximations for diffraction problems are indicated together with various experimental results showing the structure of the electromagnetic field in the neighborhood of the aperture or scatterer. The results illustrate how studies in the microwave region have enlarged the scope of optics and provide a rich body of material for teaching the subject of diffraction in physical optics.
© 1962 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
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