Appendix C: Ray Transfer Matrices

C.1  Introduction

A practical method to characterize and design laser optics systems is the use of beam propagation matrices also known as ray transfer matrices. This method applies to the propagation of laser beams with a Gaussian profile. In other words, it applies to the propagation of single-transverse-mode beams or spatially coherent beams, which is a crucial characteristic to the concept of laser emission. In this appendix the basic principles of propagation matrices are outlined and a survey of matrices for various widely applicable optical elements is given. This appendix follows the style of a review on the subject by Duarte (2003). For early references on the subject, the reader is referred to Brouwer ...

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