Journal of the acoustical society of america vol:91 issue:3 pages:1474-1483
Although the phenomenon of light diffraction by ultrasound has been studied very extensively during the last 40 years, almost all investigations were concentrated on the individual far field (Fraunhofer) diffraction orders. In the present paper, the basic theory is developed for studying the near field (Fresnel region) of light diffracted by an arbitrary plane ultrasonic wave and the fundamental periodicity properties are stated. The general plane-wave theory of Raman-Nath has been taken as a starting point. From the analysis, the near field of the diffracted light is seen to be highly sensitive to variations of the ultrasonic amplitude and this feature provides a useful technique for observing weak ultrasonic waves. In particular, for the specific case of Raman-Nath-type diffraction, a procedure is presented allowing the reconstruction of the time waveform of the ultrasonic wave from the diffracted light intensity signal.