Fundamental structure of Fresnel diffraction: Longitudinal uniformity with respect to fractional Fourier order
Fresnel integrals corresponding to different distances can be interpreted as scaled fractional Fourier transformations observed on spherical reference surfaces. Transverse samples can be taken on these surfaces with separation that increases with propagation distance. Here, we are concerned with the separation of the spherical reference surfaces along the longitudinal direction. We show that these surfaces should be equally spaced with respect to the fractional Fourier transform order, rather than being equally spaced with respect to the distance of propagation along the optical axis. The spacing should be of the order of the reciprocal of the space-bandwidth product of the signals. The space-dependent longitudinal and transverse spacings define a grid that reflects the structure of Fresnel diffraction.