Self-Accelerating Waves of Light and Matter

Abstract : The progress in nano-fabrication capabilities opens exciting new possibilities for shaping optical, plasmonic and electron waves. Here I will concentrate on a specific family of wave-packets, which are called "self-accelerating" beams. They represent unique solutions to the underlying wave equation - Schrodinger equation for matter waves of the Helmholtz for light waves - which are characterized by a beam envelope that maintains its shape along propagation. The "acceleration" property is related to the fact that the entire envelope of the ideal, analytic solution follows a curved trajectory in free-space.