Abstract

The multi-Gaussian beam shape is proposed as a model for aperture functions and laser beam profiles that have a nearly flat top but whose sides decrease continuously. Beams and apertures of this type represent a simple, elegant, and intuitive alternative to super-Gaussian beams, which are important in a number of applications such as laser resonator design. Analytical formulas are developed for the propagation of these beams through free space and optical systems representable by ABCD matrices.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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