My venture with physical optics started during my graduate studies at Warsaw Tech in Poland when my supervisor, the late Prof. Bohdan Karczewski, proposed to me as a subject of my M.S. thesis, “electromagnetic analysis of polarization states of waves diffracted on a perfectly conducting half-plane,” based on Emil Wolf ’s coherency matrix formalism. (This so-called Sommerfeld problem, as well as the coherency matrix formulation of polarization states, are discussed elsewhere in the present work.) From his Rochester discussion with Emil Wolf, Prof. Karczewski also suggested to me as a subject of my Ph.D. dissertation “inverse diffraction coherence theory,” a subject closely connected with inverse properties and the information content of evanescent waves, later seen as one of the earlier attempts at nano-optics, also discussed in this book. At that time in Poland considerable study was stimulated by Prof. Rubinowicz and his school into diffraction of electromagnetic and acoustic waves, including the equivalence problem of integrating the Young and Huygens approaches, first solved for spherical incidence wave by Rubinowicz, and then generalized by Miyamoto and Wolf.
Working as an adjunct professor at Warsaw Tech, I had directed my interest to the engineering aspects of physical optics, mostly in holography, holographic interferometry, and Fourier optics. Here again, critical to my studies were Emil Wolf ’s inverse diffraction problem developments based on the first Born approximation, which was instrumental in volume (Bragg) holography and diffraction tomography, the latter developed by A.J. Devaney, also described in this book. My further efforts in Poland concentrated on structural information in volume holography, planar holograms, and integrated optics. Those efforts materialized later in the U.S. in such applications as chip-to-chip waveguide interconnects.
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