The objectives of this tutorial are to introduce the most important concepts and define some of the common terms involved in laser beam quality; to review briefly some of the beam quality definitions and measurement schemes employed to date; to describe some of the problems associated with various approaches and with standardization efforts for beam quality measurement; and finally to express a few of the author’s personal prejuduces on this subject. The "Maybe" in the title of this tutorial is intended to convey that measuring, or even rigorously defining, any single all-inclusive measure of laser beam quality is still a controversial an unsettled topic—and may remain so for some time.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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