We present an in-depth analysis of Young’s slit experiment when solely a single slit of the doublet is illuminated by a focused laser beam at visible and thermal infrared wavelengths. In line with the recent results obtained by Kuzmin et al.. [ Opt. Lett. 32, 445 (2007) ], even if only a single slit is illuminated by a focused beam, we show that the far-field pattern exhibits sinusoidal Young’s fringes. Thanks to fully vectorial electromagnetic computations and to a simple model, we provide a comprehensive discussion of the nature of surface waves at work in the experiment.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 24, 2009
Revised Manuscript: June 12, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: July 1, 2009
Published: August 18, 2009
S. Ravets, J. C. Rodier, B. Ea Kim, J. P. Hugonin, L. Jacubowiez, and P. Lalanne, "Surface plasmons in the Young slit doublet experiment," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 26, B28-B33 (2009)