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Diagram of Axicon and resulting Bessel Beam

An axicon is a specialized type of lens which has a conical surface. An axicon images a point source into a line along the optic axis, or transforms a laser beam into a ring.[1] It can be used to turn a Gaussian beam into an approximation to a Bessel beam, with greatly reduced diffraction.[2] Axicons were first proposed in 1954 by John McLeod.[3]

Axicons are used in atomic traps and for generating plasma in linear accelerators. They are used in eye surgery in cases where a ring-shaped spot is useful.


  1. ^ Proteep Mallik (2005). "The Axicon". Archived from the original on Nov 23, 2009. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  2. ^ Garcés-Chávez, V.; McGloin, D.; Melville, H.; Sibbett, W.; Dholakia, K. (Sep 12, 2002). "Simultaneous micromanipulation in multiple planes using a self-reconstructing light beam". Nature 419 (6903): 145–7. Bibcode:2002Natur.419..145G. doi:10.1038/nature01007. PMID 12226659. Archived from the original on Sep 19, 2006. 
  3. ^ McLeod, John H. (1954). "The axicon: A new type of optical element". J. Opt. Soc. Am. 44 (8): 592. doi:10.1364/JOSA.44.000592.