Abstract

Higher-order extrema with topological indices greater than unity are discussed. Explicit constructions are given for their wave functions, and simple geometric rules are presented for analysis of their topological indices. Experimental means for verifying the theory with use of Gaussian laser beams are considered, unusual properties of optical vortices contructed from this new type of critical point are described, and applications to topologically based optical arithmetic are suggested.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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