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Handbook of Optical Design, 3rd Edition by Zacarías Malacara-Hernández, Daniel Malacara-Hernández

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9

Diffraction in Optical Systems

9.1    HUYGENS–FRESNEL THEORY

As we pointed out in Chapter 7, light may be considered in a first approximation as a bundle of rays, but the real nature is that of a wave. Frequently, the geometrical optics approximation is not accurate enough to describe and explain some phenomena or image structures. Then, it is necessary to use diffraction theory. In this chapter, we will briefly describe this theory with a special emphasis on its applications to the study of images. This subject has been treated in many books and journal publications; see, for example, Born and Wolf (1964) and Malacara (1988).

There are many theories that explain diffraction phenomena, but the simplest one is the Huygens–Fresnel theory, ...

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