A virtual source that generates a Hermite–Gauss wave of mode numbers <i>m</i> and <i>n</i> is introduced. An expression is obtained for this Hermite–Gauss wave. From this expression, the paraxial approximation and the first 3 orders of nonparaxial corrections for the corresponding paraxial Hermite–Gauss beam are determined. When both <i>m</i> and <i>n</i> are even, leading to maximum amplitude along the axis, the number of orders of nonvanishing nonparaxial corrections is found to be equal to (<i>m</i> + n)/2.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(010.3310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Laser beam transmission
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(350.5500) Other areas of optics : Propagation
S. R. Seshadri, "Virtual source for a Hermite-Gauss beam," Opt. Lett. 28, 595-597 (2003)