Abstract

The exact solution due to Sommerfeld for the problem of two-dimensional diffraction of a plane wave caused by a perfectly conducting, infinitesimally thick, semi-infinite plane is verified quantitatively in all quadrants for the case when the incident electric field is polarized parallel to the axis of the edge. Measurements were performed under experimental conditions consistent with the theoretical, using microwaves incident on a half-plane having a thickness of 0.059λ. Effects of the finite thickness of the half-plane have also been examined with the use of 0.18λ- and 0.37λ-thick sheets. The diffraction patterns exhibit insubstantial thickness effects in all quadrants. The nature of the thickness independence is discussed from considerations based upon singularities of the surface current density that exist only in the case of parallel polarization. Our measurements together with their attendant analysis provide an explanation of why earlier investigators established qualitative agreement with Sommerfeld’s solution, in spite of the fact that their laboratory arrangements demonstrated discrepancies with the stringent experimental configuration imposed by the idealized problem.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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