AuthorLandesman, Barbara Tehan.
AdvisorBarrett, Harrison, H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA new mathematical model for the fundamental mode of a propagating Gaussian beam is presented. The model is two-fold, consisting of a mathematical expression and a corresponding geometrical representation which interprets the expression in the light of geometrical optics. The mathematical description arises from the (0,0) order of a new family of exact, closed-form solutions to the scalar Helmholtz equation. The family consists of nonseparable functions in the oblate spheroidal coordinate system and can easily be transformed to a different set of solutions in the prolate spheroidal coordinate system, where the (0,0) order is a spherical wave. This transformation consists of two substitutions in the coordinate system parameters and represents a more general method of obtaining a Gaussian beam from a spherical wave than assuming a complex point source on axis. Further, each higher-order member of the family of solutions possesses an amplitude consisting of a finite number of higher-order terms with a zero-order term that is Gaussian. The geometrical interpretation employs the skew-line generator of a hyperboloid of one sheet as a ray-like element on a contour of constant amplitude in the Gaussian beam. The geometrical characteristics of the skew line and the consequences of treating it as a ray are explored in depth. The skew line is ultimately used to build a nonorthogonal coordinate system which allows straight-line propagation of a Gaussian beam in three-dimensional space. Highlights of the research into other methods used to model a propagating Gaussian beam--such as complex rays, complex point sources and complex argument functions--are reviewed and compared with this work.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences