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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 30, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2013
  • pp: 215–226

Diffraction of an optical pulse as an expansion in ultrashort orthogonal Gaussian beam modes

Ronan J. Mahon and J. Anthony Murphy  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 30, Issue 2, pp. 215-226 (2013)

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The Laguerre–Gaussian (LG) beam expansion is described as a numerical and physical model of paraxial ultrashort pulse diffraction in the time domain. An overview of the dynamics of higher-order ultrashort planar LG modes is given through numerical simulations, and the finite width of these beams is shown to induce a dispersive-like axial broadening of the fields, which creates related variations in the on-axis amplitude of such pulses. The propagation of a pulsed plane wave scattered at an aperture is then illustrated as a finite weighted sum of individual planar LG pulses, which allows for intuitive illustration of the convergence of this expansion technique. By applying such an expansion to diffraction at a hard aperture, the planar pulsed LG beams are described as the paraxial analogs of the Bessel boundary waves typically observed in such situations, with both exhibiting superluminal group velocities along the optical axis. Numerical results of pulse diffraction at an aperture highlight the suitability of the LG expansion method for efficient and practical simulation of ultrashort fields in the paraxial regime.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(050.5080) Diffraction and gratings : Phase shift
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
(260.2030) Physical optics : Dispersion
(320.5550) Ultrafast optics : Pulses

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: August 17, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 6, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 9, 2012
Published: January 14, 2013

Ronan J. Mahon and J. Anthony Murphy, "Diffraction of an optical pulse as an expansion in ultrashort orthogonal Gaussian beam modes," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 30, 215-226 (2013)

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