This Letter presents a theoretical and experimental study of an axicon illuminated by an off-axis paraxial point source. The Fresnel diffraction integral is applied to show that a paraxial point source produces a Bessel beam. A simple analytical relationship is demonstrated between the location of the point source and the spatial frequency and the center of the resulting Bessel beam in the image plane of a camera. Finally, experimental verification is given by translating a point source of light along the optical axis of an axicon and comparing the resulting predicted and recorded beam intensity profiles. The resulting images are then analyzed to predict the location of the point source with excellent accuracy.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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