Radially self-accelerating light exhibits an intensity pattern that describes a spiraling trajectory around the optical axis as the beam propagates. In this article, we show in simulation and experiment how such beams can be used to performa high-accuracy distance measurement with respect to a reference using simple off-axis intensity detection. We demonstrate that generating beams whose intensity pattern simultaneously spirals with fast and slow rotation components enables a distance measurement with high accuracy over a broad range, using the high and lowrotation frequency, respectively. In our experiment,we achieve an accuracy of around 2 μm over a longitudinal range of more than 2 mm using a single beam and only two quadrant detectors. Because our method relies on single-beam interference and only requires a static generation and simple intensity measurements, it is intrinsically stable and could find applications in high-speed measurements of longitudinal position.
Publication forum classification
- Publication forum level 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering