Concept

Gaussian beam

Summary
In optics, a Gaussian beam is a beam of electromagnetic radiation with high monochromaticity whose amplitude envelope in the transverse plane is given by a Gaussian function; this also implies a Gaussian intensity (irradiance) profile. This fundamental (or TEM00) transverse Gaussian mode describes the intended output of most (but not all) lasers, as such a beam can be focused into the most concentrated spot. When such a beam is refocused by a lens, the transverse phase dependence is altered; this results in a different Gaussian beam. The electric and magnetic field amplitude profiles along any such circular Gaussian beam (for a given wavelength and polarization) are determined by a single parameter: the so-called waist w0. At any position z relative to the waist (focus) along a beam having a specified w0, the field amplitudes and phases are thereby determined as detailed below. The equations below assume a beam with a circular cross-section at all values of z
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