A precise knowledge of the thermal effects in laser rods is very useful for optimizing high-power, good beam quality lasers. Among them, the spherical aberration remains not well known despite the fact that it is the cause of their poor efficiency. In this paper, we present an experiment to measure it, and the principle of a theory to calculate it, more accurate than the previous ones. Both show that the spherical aberration was underestimated until now.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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