Abstract

A relationship for the complex amplitude of generalized paraxial Hermite–Gaussian (HG) beams is deduced. We show that under certain parameters, these beams transform into the familiar HG modes and elegant HG beams. The orbital angular momentum (OAM) of a linear combination of two generalized HG beams with a phase shift of π/2, with their double indices composed of adjacent integer numbers taken in direct and inverse order, is calculated. The modulus of the OAM is shown to be an integer number for the combination of two HG modes, always equal to unity for the superposition of two elegant HG beams, and a fractional number for two hybrid HG beams. Interestingly, a linear combination of two such HG modes also presents a mode that is characterized by a nonzero OAM and the lack of radial symmetry but does not rotate during propagation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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