We study theoretically and experimentally the varying polarization states and intensity patterns of self-accelerating vector beams. It is shown that as these beams propagate, the main intensity lobe and the polarization singularity gradually drift apart. Furthermore, the propagation dynamics can be manipulated by controlling the beams' acceleration coefficients. We also demonstrate the self-healing dynamics of these accelerating vector beams for which sections of the vector beam are being blocked by an opaque or polarizing obstacle. Our results indicate that the self-healing process is almost insensitive for the obstacles' polarization direction. Moreover, the spatial polarization structure also shows self- healing properties, and it is reconstructed as the beam propagates further beyond the perturbation plane. These results open various possibilities for generating, shaping and manipulating the intensity patterns and space variant polarization states of accelerating vector beams.
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© The Author(s) 2016.