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Huygens-Fresnel-Kirchhoff construction for quantum propagators with application to diffraction in space and time

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We address the phenomenon of diffraction of nonrelativistic matter waves on openings in absorbing screens. To this end, we expand the full quantum propagator, connecting two points on the opposite sides of the screen, in terms of the free particle propagator and spatiotemporal properties of the opening. Our construction, based on the Huygens-Fresnel principle, describes the quantum phenomena of diffraction in space and diffraction in time, as well as the interplay between the two. We illustrate the method by calculating diffraction patterns for localized wave packets passing through various time-dependent openings in one and two spatial dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013626
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2012

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