Abstract

In this work, starting by suitable superpositions of equal-frequency Bessel beams, we develop a theoretical and experimental methodology to obtain localized stationary wave fields (with high transverse localization) whose longitudinal intensity pattern can approximately assume any desired shape within a chosen interval 0zL of the propagation axis z. Their intensity envelope remains static, i.e., with velocity v=0, so we have named “frozen waves” (FWs) these new solutions to the wave equations (and, in particular, to the Maxwell equation). Inside the envelope of a FW, only the carrier wave propagates. The longitudinal shape, within the interval 0zL, can be chosen in such a way that no nonnegligible field exists outside the predetermined region (consisting, e.g., in one or more high-intensity peaks). Our solutions are notable also for the different and interesting applications they can have—especially in electromagnetism and acoustics—such as optical tweezers, atom guides, optical or acoustic bistouries, and various important medical apparatuses.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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