Abstract

Recently Durnin pointed out the existence of nondiffracting beams that propagate in free space with their energy confined around their axis but that experience no spread or divergence [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 651 ( 1987)]. This Communication provides an alternative way of interpreting these results. The approach is based on the McCutchen theorem from which the necessary conditions for a nondiffracting field are derived. This description may be useful in suggesting several different means of synthesizing such fields and in providing a convenient way of estimating their practical limitations. Some examples, inspired by known techniques studied for depth of field enhancement, are briefly mentioned.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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