We generate a broadband “white light” Airy beam and characterize the dependence of the beam properties on wavelength. Experimental results are presented showing that the beam’s deflection coefficient and its characteristic length are wavelength dependent. In contrast the aperture coefficient is not wavelength dependent. However, this coefficient depends on the spatial coherence of the beam. We model this behaviour theoretically by extending the Gaussian-Schell model to describe the effect of spatial coherence on the propagation of Airy beams. The experimental results are compared to the model and good agreement is observed.
©2009 Optical Society of America
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