Appendix B Calculation Methods

To generate the photograph-like patterns, modulation transfer functions, and other miscellaneous graphs in this book, it was necessary to use the Huygens-Fresnel principle in the context of Fourier optics. What follows is intended only as a sketch of the concepts used here. For more insight, consult the references mentioned below. The most readable is Joseph W. Goodman's Introduction to Fourier Optics (Goodman 1968) or Eugene Hecht's text Optics (Hecht 1987).

APERTURE, one of the programs mentioned in this appendix, has been released as an optional software accompaniment to this volume. This program allows the calculation of the axially-symmetric patterns seen in the text, including spherical aberration, central obstruction, zones, turned edge, apodized apertures, and others. While this program is not necessary to appreciate the points made in earlier chapters, the realities of publishing limit the number of images that can appear here. APERTURE allows one the luxury of exploring the fine details of some of the most interesting diffraction behavior.

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