Gaussian beam propagation is well described by the q-parameter and the ABCD matrices. A variety of ABCD matrices are available that represent commonly occurring scenarios/components in optics. One important phenomenon that has not been studied in detail is the interference of two optical beams with different q-parameters undergoing interference. In this paper, we describe the effect of interference of two Gaussian beams. We derive an ABCD matrix for the addition of two beams that takes into account both the amplitude and phase difference between two beams. This ABCD matrix will help greatly in determining the propagation of beams inside complex interferometers and finding the solutions for the coupled cavity Eigenmodes.
©2009 Optical Society of America
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