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Opt Express. 2012 Dec 17;20(27):28819-28. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.028819.

A laser beam quality definition based on induced temperature rise.

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Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, 3550 Aberdeen Ave SE, Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 87117, USA.

Erratum in

  • Opt Express. 2013 Mar 11;21(5):5635.


Laser beam quality metrics like M(2) can be used to describe the spot sizes and propagation behavior of a wide variety of non-ideal laser beams. However, for beams that have been diffracted by limiting apertures in the near-field, or those with unusual near-field profiles, the conventional metrics can lead to an inconsistent or incomplete description of far-field performance. This paper motivates an alternative laser beam quality definition that can be used with any beam. The approach uses a consideration of the intrinsic ability of a laser beam profile to heat a material. Comparisons are made with conventional beam quality metrics. An analysis on an asymmetric Gaussian beam is used to establish a connection with the invariant beam propagation ratio.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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