Concerning the Electromagnetic Field of a Laser Beam

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Dean Langley


This paper reviews physical theory relating to the electromagnetic field of a laser. It is divided into three sections (not including the introduction and conclusion). The first contains exposition of beam-like solutions to the wave equation, ignoring physical conditions imposed by a laser resonator. The second section traces diffraction theory, which may be used to find wave-equation solutions consistent with a particular cavity. The third contains a limited discussion of the interaction between laser light and the lasing medium. The paper, as a whole, may be useful to someone interested in modeling the electromagnetic field of a laser. In particular, the references are extensive so it may be used as a starting point for further work.

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