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Opt Express. 2010 May 24;18(11):11083-8. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.011083.

Basic diffraction phenomena in time domain.

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  • 1Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, 142 Riia St, Tartu, 51014, Estonia.


Using a recently developed technique (SEA TADPOLE) for easily measuring the complete spatiotemporal electric field of light pulses with micrometer spatial and femtosecond temporal resolution, we directly demonstrate the formation of theo-called boundary diffraction wave and Arago's spot after an aperture, as well as the superluminal propagation of the spot. Our spatiotemporally resolved measurements beautifully confirm the time-domain treatment of diffraction. Also they prove very useful for modern physical optics, especially in micro- and meso-optics, and also significantly aid in the understanding of diffraction phenomena in general.

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