Aberration-like cusped focusing in the post-paraxial Talbot effect

James D. Ring, Jari Lindberg, Christopher J. Howls, Mark R. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present an analysis of the Talbot effect beyond the paraxial regime, where deviation from Fresnel propagation destroys perfect, periodic self-imaging. The resulting interference structures are examples of aberration without geometric optical rays, which we describe analytically using post-paraxial theory. They are similar to, but do not precisely replicate, a standard integral representation of a diffraction cusp (the Pearcey function). Beyond the Talbot effect, this result illustrates that aberration-as the replacement of a perfect focus with a cusp-like pattern-can occur as a consequence of improving the paraxial approximation, rather than due to imperfections in the optical system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075702
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Optics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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