Abstract

In the framework of generalized Lorenz–Mie theory, laser beams are described by sets of beam-shape coefficients. The modified localized approximation to evaluate these coefficients for a focused Gaussian beam is presented. A new description of Gaussian beams, called standard beams, is introduced. A comparison is made between the values of the beam-shape coefficients in the framework of the localized approximation and the beam-shape coefficients of standard beams. This comparison leads to new insights concerning the electromagnetic description of laser beams. The relevance of our discussion is enhanced by a demonstration that the localized approximation provides a very satisfactory description of top-hat beams as well.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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