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Abstract Ady Arie

Self-accelerating beams of light and matter

Ady Arie, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

According to Newton's laws, in the absence of a force, a massive object cannot accelerate by itself and can only travel on a straight path. However, in the framework of quantum mechanics, Berry and Balazs found back in 1979 a unique solution of Schrodinger equation in the form of the Airy function, which preserves its shape despite dispersion or diffraction and continuously self accelerates, with no force applied, along an arc-shaped trajectory.

In the last several years, this wave packet, known as Airy beam, was realized and its unique properties were explored by many researchers. These beams were first studied in light optics, with applications in nonlinear optics, lasers, micro-particle manipulation, generation of curved plasma channels, Airy plasmons, etc. Moreover, other types of accelerating beams, that exhibit sharp bends, beyond the paraxial approximation were realized.

Recently, the self-accelerating wave-packets were also realized with other types of waves, in particular with matter waves - using free electrons in a transmission electron microscope, as well with water waves. The talk will review the realizations of self-accelerating wave packets with different types of waves and their potential applications.