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Appl Opt. 1967 Apr 1;6(4):747-55. doi: 10.1364/AO.6.000747.

Geometrical approach to gaussian beam propagation.

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Centre de Recherches de la Compagnie Générale d'Electricité, Départment Recherches Physiques deBase, Marcoussis, Essonne, France.


The curvature of the wavefront and the spot size of a propagating Gaussian beam may be determined from simple geometrical transformations of the lateral foci. The analysis starts from the construction of the lateral foci in the case of a spherical Fabry-Perot. Then the cases of Gaussian beam propagation through media with different refractive indices, lenses, and simple optical systems are treated. Constructions show how propagation in the image space is readily determined in each case. This analysis is the generalization of the technique outlined by Deschamps and Mast. The geometrical constructions developed for simple cases are applied to the design of some special cases of interest in laser optics: cavities by a lens, laser zoom telescope, and ring cavity.

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