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Chapter 6:
Cautionary Tales
This chapter presents a collection of studies that show some of the conceptual and practical pitfalls that occur due to inadequate understanding of beam quality issues. Three customary viewpoints on Gaussian beam propagation are commonly found in the scientific literature. Each of these viewpoints is a favorite within certain communities, and that particular viewpoint is so universally accepted that it is almost never explicitly defined because "everyone" does it in X manner. The three viewpoints are: Illuminator: The beam is allowed to expand from an aperture such that the beam in the aperture plane is a beam waist, i.e., W[0] = W 0 [referred to asthe constant waist diameter in Johnson and Sasnett (2004), p. 39]. Laboratory/weapon: The beam is focused onto a target such that the beam in the target plane is a beam waist, i.e., W[0] = M2W0ref [referred to asconstant divergence in Johnson and Sasnett (2004), p. 39]. Gaussian envelope: The reference beam is taken to be the lowest-order Gaussian mode in an ensemble such that the beam radius is M times the beam radius if the reference beam in all planes is in accordance with W[z] ≡MWref [z] [mentioned in Johnson and Sasnett (2004)].
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