Description: This invention is comprised of an apparatus for transforming a conventional beam of coherent light, having a Gaussian energy distribution and relatively high divergence, into a beam in which the energy distribution approximates a single, non-zero-order Bessel function and which therefore has much lower divergence. The apparatus comprises a zone plate having transmitting and reflecting zones defined by the pattern of light interference produced by the combination of a beam of coherent light with a Gaussian energy distribution and one having such a Bessel distribution. The interference pattern between the two beams is a concentric array of multiple annuli, and is preferably recorded as a hologram. The hologram is then used to form the transmitting, and reflecting zones by photo-etching portions of a reflecting layer deposited on a plate made of a transmitting material. A Bessel beam, containing approximately 50% of the energy of the incident beam, is produced by passing a Gaussian beam through such a Bessel zone plate. The reflected beam, also containing approximately 50% of the incident beam energy and having a Bessel energy distribution, can be redirected in the same direction and parallel to the transmitted beam. Alternatively, a filter similar to the Bessel zone plate can be placed within the resonator cavity of a conventional laser system having a front mirror and a rear mirror, preferably axially aligned with the mirrors and just inside the front mirror to generate Bessel energy distribution light beams at the laser source.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Kronberg, J. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department