A number of proposed applications of electromagnetic waves require that the radiation beam maintain a high intensity over an appreciable propagation distance. These applications include, among others, power beaming, advanced radar, laser acceleration of particles, and directed-energy sources. The quest to achieve these objectives has led to a resurgence of research on diffraction theory. We present a survey and critique of the analyses and experimental tests of solutions of the wave equation in connection with so-called diffractionless and other directed radiation beams. The examples discussed include electromagnetic missiles, Bessel beams, electromagnetic directed-energy pulse trains, and electromagnetic bullets.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: February 20, 1990
Manuscript Accepted: November 1, 1990
Published: May 1, 1991
B. Hafizi and P. Sprangle, "Diffraction effects in directed radiation beams," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 705-717 (1991)