We introduce a new class of spatial and spatiotemporal waves that tend to autofocus in an abrupt fashion. While the maximum intensity of such a radial wave remains almost constant during propagation, it suddenly increases by orders of magnitude right before its focal point. These waves can be generated through the use of radially symmetric Airy waves or by appropriately superimposing Airy wave packets. Possible applications of such abruptly focusing beams are also discussed.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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