Huygens's wave propagation principle corrected.

@article{Miller1991HuygenssWP,
  title={Huygens's wave propagation principle corrected.},
  author={D. A. B. Miller},
  journal={Optics letters},
  year={1991},
  volume={16 18},
  pages={
          1370-2
        }
}
  • D. Miller
  • Published 15 September 1991
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Optics letters
Huygens's principle that each point on a wave front represents a source of spherical waves is conceptually useful but is incomplete; the backward parts of the wavelets have to be neglected ad hoc, otherwise backward waves are generated. The problem is solved mathematically by Kirchhoff's rigorous integration of the wave equation, but the intuitive appeal of Huygens's simple principle is lost. I show that, by using spatiotemporal dipoles instead of spherical point sources, one can recover a… Expand

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Note that such scalar solutions, while valid, e.g., for acoustic waves, are not complete solutions for electromagnetic waves because Maxwell's equations impose additional constraints (see Ref
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