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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 42, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 1952
  • pp: 426–430

Fraunhofer Multiple Slit Diffraction Patterns with Finite Sources

A. E. SMITH and C. D. HAUSE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 42, Issue 6, pp. 426-430 (1952)

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General expressions for the intensity distribution in Fraunhofer N-slit diffraction patterns with finite sources both in the form of a uniformly radiating slit and disk have been obtained. By making use of the secondary maxima in the multiple slit patterns and their dependence upon source dimensions it is shown that multiple slits give a limited but useful advantage over double slits for the determination of the angular extent of distant sources. Results indicate an effective increase in resolution of 1/N, N>2. This is verified experimentally.

A. E. SMITH and C. D. HAUSE, "Fraunhofer Multiple Slit Diffraction Patterns with Finite Sources," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 426-430 (1952)

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  1. A. A. Michelson, Phil. Mag. 30, 1 (1890).
  2. A. A. Michelson and F. G. Pease, Astrophys. J. 53, 249 (1921).
  3. For example,Jenkins and White, Fundamentals of Optics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1950), second edition, chapter 17.
  4. Although this progressive disappearance of submaxima has probably been observed in many laboratories, it apparently was not mentioned in the literature until as late as 1938. After the present work was completed our attention was called to an article in the Journal of Science of Hirosima University, Series A, 14, 239–242, Sept. 1950 by Takeyama, Kitahara, and Matuhayasi giving a preliminary, qualitative treatment of this problem with a slit source. In this article reference is made to D. Onoyama, Journal of Science of Hirosima University, 8, 81 (1938), who found that the number of secondary maxima diminished, one by one, as the breadth of the slit of the collimator was gradually increased.
  5. D. Jackson, Fourier Series and Orthogonal Polynoinials (The Mathematical Association of America, 1941), pp. 33, 34.
  6. Gray, Mathews, and MacRoberts, A Treatise on Bessel Fnctions (Macmillan and Company, Ltd., London, England, 1931), p. 46.
  7. See reference 3, pp. 312–317.

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