Lasers used in free-space optics propagate a beam within a truncated cone. Because of this shape, the intensity cannot follow the Beer–Lambert law. In the case of a homogeneous atmosphere, we calculate the gap from the cylinder case. We will see that the gap exists but is generally very weak and, therefore, that the use of the Beer–Lambert law is a justified approximation.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 26, 2009
Revised Manuscript: March 30, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: April 20, 2009
Published: May 6, 2009
Bernard Lacaze, "Gaps of free-space optics beams with the Beer-Lambert law," Appl. Opt. 48, 2702-2706 (2009)