Explain The Term Fresnel Distance

Fresnel distance is defined as the minimum distance that is travelled by a ray of light along the linear path before diffraction.

Derivation of Fresnel distance

Consider a single slit of an aperture with “a” as the thickness of the aperture. A diffraction pattern is observed during the experiment. A central maxima is observed due to diffraction.

Angular size of the central maxima = \(frac{lambda }{a}\)

Let z be the distance travelled by the light waves so that the spread occurs

The spread is given as = \(frac{zlambda }{a}\)


\(frac{zlambda }{a}\) is the width of the diffracted beam


Fresnel distance is given as \(zapprox frac{a^{2}}{lambda }\)

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