Recently workers at the University of Rochester have undertaken both theoretical and experimental investigations of the properties of nondiffracting beams. In their ideal form, these beams represent a class of fields having transverse intensity distributions that are unaltered as they propagate in free space. Although not achievable in their ideal form (the field distribution would need to be perfectly mapped over an infinite plane), many interesting results have been obtained with these beams under the restriction of finite aperture. Investigation of the power transport efficiency and depth of field obtainable with these beams has revealed some interesting trade-offs in their utilization.
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