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The goal of the paper is a better understanding of laser beams. The well-known method of second-order moments of Wigner function (to define beams) and of beam irradiance (to measure beams) is employed. After a short introduction and a summary of previous relevant results, the paper introduces new generalized beam propagation invariants and new beam classifications. As a result of a measurement, criteria to identify the beam are given. To achieve this task, certain approximations are suggested to assess whether some beam matrix elements are equal, or whether some beam matrix elements, or some beam propagation invariants are zero. The main application is in developing the ISO 11146 standard for characterizing and measuring the spatial properties of laser beams with any spatial symmetry.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
George Nemes "Intrinsic and geometrical beam classification, and the beam identification after measurement", Proc. SPIE 4932, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2002 and 7th International Workshop on Laser Beam and Optics Characterization, (30 May 2003);

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