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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 4, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1987
  • pp: 651–654

Exact solutions for nondiffracting beams. I. The scalar theory

J. Durnin  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp. 651-654 (1987)

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We present exact, nonsingular solutions of the scalar-wave equation for beams that are nondiffracting. This means that the intensity pattern in a transverse plane is unaltered by propagating in free space. These beams can have extremely narrow intensity profiles with effective widths as small as several wavelengths and yet possess an infinite depth of field. We further show (by using numerical simulations based on scalar diffraction theory) that physically realizable finite-aperture approximations to the exact solutions can also possess an extremely large depth of field.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: June 12, 1986
Manuscript Accepted: November 24, 1986
Published: April 1, 1987

J. Durnin, "Exact solutions for nondiffracting beams. I. The scalar theory," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 651-654 (1987)

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  1. See, for example, H. Kogelnik, T. Li, “Laser beams and resonators,” Proc. IEEE, 54, 1312–1392 (1966). [CrossRef]
  2. See, for example, C. J. Bouwkamp, “Diffraction theory,” Rep. Prog. Phys., 17, 35–100 (1954). [CrossRef]
  3. A brief report on some of our initial experimental results was presented at the 1986 Annual Meeting of the Optical Society of America: J. Durnin, J. J. Miceli, J. H. Eberly, “Diffraction-free beams,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, P128 (1986).

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