Abstract

We consider the nonspherically decaying radiation field that is generated by a polarization current with a superluminally rotating distribution pattern in vacuum, a field that decays with the distance RP from its source as RP12, instead of RP1. It is shown (i) that the nonspherical decay of this emission remains in force at all distances from its source independently of the frequency of the radiation, (ii) that the part of the source that makes the main contribution toward the value of the nonspherically decaying field has a filamentary structure whose radial and azimuthal widths become narrower (as RP2 and RP3, respectively) the farther the observer is from the source, (iii) that the loci on which the waves emanating from this filament interfere constructively delineate a radiation subbeam that is nondiffracting in the polar direction, (iv) that the cross-sectional area of each nondiffracting subbeam increases as RP, instead of RP2, so that the requirements of conservation of energy are met by the nonspherically decaying radiation automatically, and (v) that the overall radiation beam within which the field decays nonspherically consists, in general, of the incoherent superposition of such coherent nondiffracting subbeams. These findings are related to the recent construction and use of superluminal sources in the laboratory and numerical models of the emission from them. We also briefly discuss the relevance of these results to the giant pulses received from pulsars.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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