Abstract

There is great interest in Airy beams because they appear to propagate in a curved path. These beams are usually generated by inserting a cubic phase mask onto the input plane of a Fourier transform system. Here, we utilize a fast Fresnel diffraction algorithm to easily derive both the propagation dynamics and the Gouy phase shift for these beams. The trajectories of these beams can be modified by adding additional linear and quadratic phase terms onto the cubic phase mask. Finally, we have rewritten the equations regarding the propagating Airy beams completely in laboratory coordinates for use by experimentalists. Experimental results are included. We expect that these results will be of great importance in applications of Airy beams.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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