Abstract

Flattened Gaussian beams are characterized by a waist profile that passes in a continuous way from a nearly flat illuminated region to darkness. The steepness of the transition region is controlled by an integer parameter N representing the order of the beam. Being expressible as a sum of N Laguerre–Gauss modes, a flattened Gaussian beam turns out to be very simple to study as far as propagation is concerned. We investigate the main features of the field distribution pertaining to a flattened Gaussian beam throughout the space and present experimental results relating to the laboratory production of this type of beam.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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