Caustics, catastrophes, and symmetries in curved beams



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Vaveliuk, Pablo and Lencina, Alberto and Rodrigo Martín-Romo, José Augusto and Martínez Matos, Óscar (2015) Caustics, catastrophes, and symmetries in curved beams. Physical review A, 92 (3). ISSN 1050-2947

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In this paper, a meaningful classification of optical caustic beams in two dimensions is presented. It is demonstrated that the phase symmetry of the beam's angular spectrum governs the optical catastrophe, which describes the wave properties of ray singularities, for cusp (symmetric phase) and fold (antisymmetric phase) caustics. In contrast to the established idea, the caustic classification arises from the phase symmetry rather than from the phase power, thus breaking the commonly accepted concept that fold and cusp caustics are related to the Airy and Pearcey functions, respectively. Nevertheless, the role played by the spectral phase power is to control the degree of caustic curvature. These findings provide straightforward engineering of caustic beams by addressing the spectral phase into a spatial light modulator or glass plate.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

©2015 American Physical Society. Project TEC2014-57394-P (Spain) and CNPq 311741/2014-2 (Brazil) are acknowledged.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Airy beams; Phase
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Optics
ID Code:33843
Deposited On:29 Oct 2015 13:48
Last Modified:30 Oct 2015 11:07

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