A classical problem of diffraction theory, namely plane wave diffraction by sharp-edge apertures, is here reformulated from the viewpoint of the fairly new subject of catastrophe optics. On using purely geometrical arguments, properly embedded into a wave optics context, uniform analytical estimates of the diffracted wavefield at points close to fold caustics are obtained, within paraxial approximation, in terms of the Airy function and its first derivative. Diffraction from parabolic apertures is proposed to test reliability and accuracy of our theoretical predictions.
Borghi, R. (2016). Catastrophe optics of sharp-edge diffraction. OPTICS LETTERS, 41(13), 3114-3117 [10.1364/OL.41.003114].