There exists a fractional Fourier-transform relation between the amplitude distributions of light on two spherical surfaces of given radii and separation. The propagation of light can be viewed as a process of continual fractional Fourier transformation. As light propagates, its amplitude distribution evolves through fractional transforms of increasing order. This result allows us to pose the fractional Fourier transform as a tool for analyzing and describing optical systems composed of an arbitrary sequence of thin lenses and sections of free space and to arrive at a general class of fractional Fourier-transforming systems with variable input and output scale factors.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 20, 1994
Manuscript Accepted: August 22, 1994
Published: April 1, 1995
Haldun M. Ozaktas and David Mendlovic, "Fractional Fourier optics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 743-751 (1995)