Spiral light beams
Samara Branch of the P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novo-Sadovaya str. 221, Samara, 443011, Russian Federation
This paper discusses theoretical and experimental results of the investigation of light beams that retain their intensity strusture during propagation and focusing. We describe a family of laser beams termed spiral whose intensity remains invariable, up to scale and rotation, during propagation. Several properties of spiral beams are of practical interest for laser technologies, medicine, and microbiology. The problem of synthesis of spiral beams with the intensity distribution given by an arbitrary planar curve is considered. We emphasize the feasibility, in principle, of making lasers that directly generate beams with desired properties without additional unconventional optics.