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Title: On the longitudinal component of paraxial fields
Author: Carnicer González, Arturo
Juvells Prades, Ignacio
Maluenda Niubó, David
Martínez-Herrero, Rosario
Mejías, Pedro M.
Keywords: Làsers
Òptica geomètrica
Equacions de Maxwell
Geometrical optics
Maxwell equations
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Institute of Physics
Abstract: The analysis of paraxial Gaussian beams features in most undergraduate courses in laser physics, advanced optics and photonics. These beams provide a simple model of the field generated in the resonant cavities of lasers, thus constituting a basic element for understanding laser theory. Usually, uniformly polarized beams are considered in the analytical calculations, with the electric field vibrating at normal planes to the propagation direction. However, such paraxial fields do not verify the Maxwell equations. In this paper we discuss how to overcome this apparent contradiction and evaluate the longitudinal component that any paraxial Gaussian beam should exhibit. Despite the fact that the assumption of a purely transverse paraxial field is useful and accurate, the inclusion of the above issue in the program helps students to clarify the importance of the electromagnetic nature of light, thus providing a more complete understanding of the paraxial approach.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: European Journal Of Physics, 2012, vol. 33, num. 5, p. 1235-1247
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ISSN: 0143-0807
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Física Aplicada)

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