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Sending femtosecond pulses in circles: highly nonparaxial accelerating beams

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Abstract

We use caustic beam shaping on 100 fs pulses to experimentally generate nonparaxial accelerating beams along a 60° circular arc, moving laterally by 14 µm over a 28 µm propagation length. This is the highest degree of transverse acceleration reported to our knowledge. Using diffraction integral theory and numerical beam propagation simulations, we show that circular acceleration trajectories represent a unique class of nonparaxial diffraction-free beam profile which also preserves the femtosecond temporal structure in the vicinity of the caustic.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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