Abstract

A method is proposed for generating Bessel-like optical beams with arbitrary trajectories in free space. The method involves phase-modulating an optical wavefront so that conical bundles of rays are formed whose apexes write a continuous focal curve with pre-specified shape. These ray cones have circular bases on the input plane; thus their interference results in a Bessel-like transverse field profile that propagates along the specified trajectory with a remarkably invariant main lobe. Such beams can be useful as hybrids between non-accelerating and accelerating optical waves that share diffraction-resisting and self-healing properties.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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