Abstract

We find a new family of solutions of the nonparaxial wave equation that represents ultrashort pulsed light beam propagation in free space. The spatial and temporal parts of these pulsed beams are separable; the spatial transverse part is described by a Bessel function and remains unchanged during propagation, but the temporal profile can be arbitrary. Therefore the pulsed beam exhibits diffraction-free behavior with no transverse spreading, but the temporal part changes as if in a dispensive medium; the change is dominated by what we call spatially induced group-velocity dispersion. The analytical and numerical investigations show that the even- and odd-order spatially induced dispersions partially compensate for each other so as to give rise to pulse spreading, weakening, asymmetry, and center shift.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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