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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Aug 6;93(6):068103. Epub 2004 Aug 5.

Generalized eikonal of partially coherent beams and its use in quantitative imaging.

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  • 1CSIRO Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology, PB33, Clayton 3169, Australia.


The generalized eikonal of a partially coherent paraxial wave is introduced via a differential equation describing the evolution of the time-averaged intensity. The theoretical formalism provides an analytical tool for the study of partially coherent imaging systems. It also makes possible quantitative phase retrieval and compositional mapping of weakly absorbing samples using phase-contrast imaging with broadband polychromatic radiation of known spectral distribution. An experimental demonstration is presented of the quantitative reconstruction of the projected thickness of a sample, given a phase-contrast image obtained using a polychromatic microfocus x-ray source.

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