Abstract

We theoretically and numerically investigate the nonparaxial self-accelerating beams in a Λ-type three-level energy system of rubidium atomic vapor in the electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) window. In the EIT window, the absorption of the atomic vapor is small, and robust nonparaxial self-accelerating beams can be generated. The reason is that the energy of the tail transfers to the main lobe, which then maintains its shape, owing to the self-healing effect. Media with large absorption would demand large energy to compensate, and the tail would be lifted too high to maintain the profile of an accelerating beam, so that self-accelerating beams cannot be obtained any longer. An atomic vapor with small absorption is the ideal medium to produce such self-accelerating beams and, in return, self-accelerating beams may inspire new ideas in the research associated with atomic vapors and atomic-like ensembles.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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