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Long wavelength density fluctuations can be observed by scattering even with a probe beam of much shorter wavelength provided the scattering angle is small enough. This paper is concerned with experiments in which the scattering angle is comparable with the probe beam divergence so the scattered and incident radiation never achieve spatial separation. Under these circumstances, the role of diffraction is pre-eminent and Fourier optics methods are used to describe the propagation of the beam, which is taken to be TEM-infinite mode Gaussian. Interaction between the probe beam and the plasma disturbance is described by refraction and no appeal is made to explicit scattering theory. Analysis of the effect of a monochromatic wave disturbance confined to a plane perpendicular to the probe beam (a plane grating in effect) reveals oscillations at the wave frequency induced on the probe with an intensity varying over the beam profile in a regular pattern symmetric about the beam axis. Detail of the pattern depends on the wavelength of the disturbance, its direction, and its axial position relative to a local beam waist.

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Bibliographic Reference: REV. SCI. INSTRUM., VOL. 56 (1985), NO. 5, P. 902
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