Bessel beam

Bessel beam

A Bessel beam is a field of electromagnetic radiation whose amplitude is described by a Bessel function. A true Bessel beam is non-diffractive. This means that as it propagates, it does not diffract and spread out; this is in contrast to the usual behavior of light, which spreads out after being focussed down to a small spot.

As with a plane wave a true Bessel beam cannot be created, as it is unbounded and therefore requires an infinite amount of energy . [cite web|url=| author=Kishan Dholakia| coauthors= David McGloin, and Vene Garcés-Chávez| title=Optical micromanipulating using a self-reconstructing light beam| year=2002| accessdate=2007-02-06
See also cite journal|author=V. Garcés-Chávez| coauthors= D. McGloin, H. Melville, W. Sibbett and K. Dholakia| title=Simultaneous micromanipulation in multiple planes using a self-reconstructing light beam| journal=Nature| volume= 419| year=2002| url=| accessdate=2007-02-06| doi=10.1038/nature01007| pages=145
] Reasonably good approximations can be made, however, and these are important in many optical applications because they exhibit little or no diffraction over a limited distance. Bessel beams are also "self-healing", meaning that the beam can be partially obstructed at one point, but will re-form at a point further down the beam axis.

These properties together make Bessel beams extremely useful to research in optical tweezing, as a narrow Bessel beam will maintain its required property of tight focus over a relatively long section of beam and even when partially occluded by the dielectric particles being tweezed.

The mathematical function which describes a Bessel beam is a solution of Bessel's differential equation, which itself arises from separable solutions to Laplace's equation and the Helmholtz equation in cylindrical coordinates.

Approximations to Bessel beams are made in practice by focusing a Gaussian beam with an axicon lens to generate a Bessel-Gauss beam.


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