Abstract

An optical kicked system with free-space light propagation along a sequence of equally spaced thin phase gratings is presented and investigated. We show, to our knowledge for the first time in optics, the occurrence of the localization effect in the spatial frequency domain, which suppresses the spreading of diffraction orders formed by the repeated modulation by the gratings of the propagating wave. Resonances and antiresonances of the optical system are described and are shown to be related to the Talbot effect. The system is similar in some aspects to the quantum kicked rotor, which is the standard system in the theoretical studies of the suppression of classical (corresponding to Newtonian mechanics) chaos by interference effects. Our experimental verification was done in a specific regime, where the grating spacing was near odd multiples of half the Talbot length. It is shown that this corresponds to the vicinity of antiresonance in the kicked system. The crucial alignment of the gratings in-phase positioning in the experiment was based on a diffraction elimination property at antiresonance. In the present study we obtain new theoretical and experimental results concerning the localization behavior in the vicinity of antiresonance. The behavior in this regime is related to that of electronic motion in incommensurate potentials, a subject that was extensively studied in condensed matter physics.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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