Several new classes of localized solutions to the homogeneous scalar wave and Maxwell’s equations have been reported recently. Theoretical and experimental results have now clearly demonstrated that remarkably good approximations to these acoustic and electromagnetic localized-wave solutions can be achieved over extended near-field regions with finite-sized, independently addressable, pulse-driven arrays. We demonstrate that only the forward-propagating (causal) components of any homogeneous solution of the scalar-wave equation are actually recovered from either an infinite- or a finite-sized aperture in an open region. The backward-propagating (acausal) components result in an evanescent-wave superposition that plays no significant role in the radiation process. The exact, complete solution can be achieved only from specifying its values and its derivatives on the boundary of any closed region. By using those localized-wave solutions whose forward-propagating components have been optimized over the associated backward-propagating terms, one can recover the desirable properties of the localized-wave solutions over the extended near-field regions of a finite-sized, independently addressable, pulse-driven array. These results are illustrated with an extreme exampl—one dealing with the original solution, which is superluminal, and its finite aperture approximation, a slingshot pulse.
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