Abstract

We present a new, to the best of our knowledge, formalism based on the propagation of variances in an ABCD optical system to study nonlinear effect in a Kerr medium. This theory, developed for the first order in the beam power, is applied to modal laser fields (Gaussian, Hermite–Gaussian, and Laguerre–Gaussian beams) and permits one to obtain a simple analytical formulation for self-focusing and Z-scan experiments, whatever the thickness of the nonlinear medium.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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