June 2013

A laser beam carries orbital angular momentum that is tightly focused in an optical trap. Bessel beams are used extensively in these traps. Courtesy of Andrew Forbes.

Unraveling Bessel Beams

Angela Dudley, Martin Lavery, Miles Padgett and Andrew Forbes

Since their discovery in the late 1980s, Bessel beams have found their way into many disciplines, including optical tweezing and precision drilling. Researchers are now looking to these light beams as a means of transferring data. But first they must load them with information and then unravel the encoded messages they carry.



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