When a Gaussian beam with two oppositely charged vortices propagates in free space, these two vortices will move around on the transverse beam plane. They may either move toward each other and annihilate each other spontaneously or survive all the way depending on the conditions. Here, we investigate how to force vortex dipoles to annihilate. We find that the background phase function created by two oppositely charged vortices during beam propagation can cause the vortices to move together and annihilate each other. The background phase function on a transverse plane just beyond the point where a dipole annihilated is continuous and retains the potential that forces a dipole to annihilate. We use this background phase function to accelerate the annihilation of vortex dipoles. Numerical results are provided to show the acceleration of dipole annihilation in a Gaussian beam, using such a background phase function.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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