We investigate the paraxial propagation along the optical axis of a uniaxially anisotropic crystal of a general paraxial beam whose boundary Cartesian components possess cylindrical symmetry. This property allows us to obtain expressions whose dependence on the azimuth angle φ (in cylindrical coordinates) is fully described and very simple. We also find that the beam loses its boundary cylindrical symmetry during propagation, as a consequence of medium anisotropy. Further, these expressions elucidate the way in which the anisotropy changes the state of polarization. As an example, we discuss the case of a Gaussian beam focused into the crystal by a thin spherical lens.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Alessandro Ciattoni, Gabriella Cincotti, and Claudio Palma, "Propagation of cylindrically symmetric fields in uniaxial crystals," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 792-796 (2002)