Abstract

We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally that optical Airy beams propagating in free space can perform ballistic dynamics akin to those of projectiles moving under the action of gravity. The parabolic trajectories of these beams as well as the motion of their center of gravity were observed in good agreement with theory. The possibility of circumventing an obstacle placed in the path of the Airy beam is discussed.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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