Abstract

Conditions of breaking down the structural stability of a spiral vortex beam subject to sector perturbations were considered. Employing methods of computer simulation and processing experimental results, we have shown that the spiral vortex beam has a caustic surface, the intersection of which sharply changes a shape of the Poynting vector streamlines and critical points of the spiral beam. Nevertheless, the beam propagation (scaling and rotation) does not change the perturbed streamline’s shape and phase pattern. We also revealed that strong beam perturbations can cause the conversion of the circulation direction of streamlines in the perturbation region, which entails the appearance of a network of optical vortices with negative topological charges. However, the beam’s orbital angular momentum remains unchanging, despite increasing the information entropy (growing a number of vortex modes), so that the perturbed beam keeps new stable states.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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