A new treatment of the well-known Sommerfeld solution of the problem of plane-wave diffraction from a perfectly conducting half-plane is reported. We show, in both theory and experiment, that the diffraction field (E-polarization) can be represented as a superposition of real physically existing waves, in contrast to geometrical and boundary waves postulated in Sommerfeld’s representation. Our representation includes two pairs of wave components: one pair propagates along the direction of the incident wave, and the other in a mirror-reflected direction. Each wave pair consists of a plane-wave component with an amplitude half that of the incident wave and a nearly plane-wave component with an infinitely extended edge dislocation. On the basis of the proposed interpretation, all features of the half-plane diffraction are explained.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(050.1960) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction theory
Original Manuscript: October 28, 1999
Revised Manuscript: July 17, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: July 19, 2000
Published: December 1, 2000
A. I. Khizhnyak, S. P. Anokhov, R. A. Lymarenko, M. S. Soskin, and M. V. Vasnetsov, "Structure of an edge-dislocation wave originating in plane-wave diffraction by a half-plane," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 2199-2207 (2000)