, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp S1071-S1079

Propagation of super-Gaussian field distributions

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The near- and far-field propagation of initially super-Gaussian field distributions is discussed. upon propagation, the beam profile is shown to undergo distortions of a magnitude which increases with the super-Gaussian order. These distortions can lead to a significant increase of the on-axis intensity in the near-field. The beam quality, evaluated both in terms of the beam parameter product and theM 2 factor, is shown to decrease as the super-Gaussian order gets larger. These calculations also illustrate the difficulties associated with theM 2 factor when characterizing the propagation of a beam with increasingly sharp edges. The effect of the transmission of the super-Gaussian field through a super-Gaussian graded-reflectivity mirror (GRM) is also discussed. The results of this study have direct implication in the domain of GRM resonator design.