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Title: Propagation-invariant space-time caustics of light
Authors: Wong, Liang Jie 
Keywords: Engineering::Electrical and electronic engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Wong, L. J. (2021). Propagation-invariant space-time caustics of light. Optics Express, 29(19), 30682-30693.
Project: A1984c0043
Journal: Optics Express
Abstract: Caustics are responsible for a wide range of natural phenomena, from rainbows and mirages to sparkling seas. Here, we present caustics in space-time wavepackets, a class of pulsed beams featuring strong coupling between spatial and temporal frequencies. Space-time wavepackets have attracted much attention with their propagation-invariant intensity profiles that travel at tunable superluminal and subluminal group velocities. These intensity profiles, however, have been largely restricted to an X-shape or similar pattern. We show that space-time caustics combine the propagation invariance of space-time wavepackets with the flexible design of caustics, allowing for customizable intensity patterns in space-time wavepackets. Our method directly provides the phase distribution needed to realize user-designed caustic patterns in space-time wavepackets. We show that space-time caustics can feature in a broad range of intriguing optical phenomena, including backward traveling caustics formed from purely forward propagating waves, and nondiffracting beams that evolve with time. Our findings should open the doors to an even wider range of structured light with spatiotemporal coupling.
ISSN: 1094-4087
DOI: 10.1364/OE.432798
DOI (Related Dataset): 10.21979/N9/67HZP1
Rights: © 2021 Optical Society of America. Users may use, reuse, and build upon the article, or use the article for text or data mining, so long as such uses are for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution is maintained. All other rights are reserved.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:EEE Journal Articles

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