Abstract

Direct numerical integration of the wave equation is used to establish the validity of approximating the fundamental mode of graded-index fibers by a Gaussian function. We show that the fundamental modes of fibers, whose index profile can be expressed as a power law, are indeed very nearly Gaussian in shape (that is probably also true for graded-index fibers with convex profiles other than a power law). Graphs and empirical analytical expressions are presented for the optimum Gaussian beam width parameter and for the propagation constant of the fundamental mode.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

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