Abstract

The concept of ray parameters for decentered Gaussian beams is developed on a formal basis. When the beam propagates through first-order optical systems, these parameters are transformed as the ray parameters of geometrical optics. It is shown how this feature helps one to understand the behavior of more sophisticated beams that can be considered as bundles of decentered Gaussian beams. In particular, the case of Bessel–Gauss beams and their recently introduced generalizations is analyzed, and simple transformation formulas are obtained.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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