The interference effects caused by the Fresnel reflections of a Gaussian beam on the boundaries of a dielectric plate, which can be considered as a Fabry-Perot etalon, were theoretically and experimentally investigated. In addition to the incident angle and the polarization of the incident light, two additional parameters—the plate’s parallelism and the temperature—which are often neglected, were analyzed. Based on the theoretical predictions and the measured behavior of the transmittance of the dielectric plate a new, temperature-controlled variable high-power-laser attenuator is proposed. Unwanted changes in the plate’s transmittance caused by the absorption of laser pulses within the plate are also presented. These phenomena are important in many applications where dielectric plates are used for a variety of purposes.
©2010 Optical Society of America
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