Approximate solutions of the wave equation are investigated, which can be considered as Gaussian beams affected by third-order spherical aberration. In practical cases, such beams are good approximations to the beams emerging from media whose square refractive index is described by a fourth-degree polynomial of the transverse coordinate. The measure of their spherical aberration could be a means for the determination of the coefficient of the fourth-order term in the expression of the square refractive index of the graded-index medium.
© 1978 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 7, 1977
Published: August 15, 1978
L. Ronchi, "Free-space propagation of an aberrating Gaussian beam," Appl. Opt. 17, 2516-2518 (1978)