Abstract

Packetlike solutions to the wave equation are generated from a differential operator that relates the complex amplitude just behind the object to either the near field or the far field. This formulation is shown to be equally valid for describing free propagation and the diffracted field coming from continuous or discontinuous screens. We obtain simple formulas for the diffracted field in the neighborhood of the object or in that of the Fraunhofer plane. Several examples are discussed, and many novel formulas are reported.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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