9 Scopus citations


We consider generalizations of the Berry and Balazs nonspreading and accelerating solution of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation in empty space, which has been experimentally demonstrated in paraxial optics. In particular, we show that the original nonspreading wave packet is unstable. An explicit variation of the initial Airy-state evolves into the self-accelerating and self-compressing solution presented here. Quasi-diffraction-free finite energy Airy beams that are more realistic for experimental study are obtained by analytic continuation and their Wigner function is evaluated. Nonlinear generalizations related to second Painlevé transcendents are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 3 2012


  • Airy functions
  • Diffraction-free optical beams
  • Nonspreading wave packets
  • Schrödinger equation
  • Second Painlevé transcendents
  • Wigner function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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