Abstract

A complete spatial characterization (in second-order moments) of a doughnut-type beam from a pulsed transversely excited atmospheric CO2 laser is described. It includes the measurement of the orbital angular momentum carried by the beam. The key element in the characterization is the use of a cylindrical lens in addition to the usual spherical optics. Internal features of the beam that would have remained hidden if only spherical optics were employed were revealed by use of the cylindrical lens. The experimental results are compared and agree with a theoretical Laguerre–Gauss mode beam.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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