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The Talbot effect is usually modeled using the Helmholtz equation, but its main experimental features are captured by the solution to the free Schrödinger equation with the Dirac comb as initial datum. This simplified description is a consequence of the paraxial approximation in geometric optics. However, it is a heuristic approximation that is not mathematically well justified, so K. I. Oskolkov raised in  the problem of ‘‘mathematizing’’ it. We show that it holds exactly in the sense of distributions.
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Daniel Eceizabarrena, The Talbot effect as the fundamental solution to the free Schrödinger equation. Port. Math. 78 (2021), no. 2, pp. 233–253DOI 10.4171/PM/2068