Abstract

We investigate the early stage of propagation of Bessel–Gauss vortex beams where a transition regime shows a progressive lateral expansion of the main intensity ring before reaching a diffraction-free regime. The eikonal equation is used to characterize the beam structure. The beam is featured by a family of hyperboloids with variable waists, generating a tapered tubular caustic. Our analytical results are in excellent agreement with numerical and experimental results. We show the transition regime can be well eliminated by using hollow input beams.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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