We present a fast and easy technique for measuring the beam propagation ratio, , of laser beams using a spatial light modulator. Our technique is based on digitally simulating the free-space propagation of light, thus eliminating the need for the traditional scan in the propagation direction. We illustrate two approaches to achieving this, neither of which requires any information of the laser beam under investigation nor necessitates any moving optical components. The comparison with theoretical predictions reveals excellent agreement and proves the accuracy of the technique.
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