Visualising transverse modes

  • Thread starter McKendrigo
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Hi,

I'm trying to get my head around the concept of transverse modes as seen from the outputs of lasers. I'm really struggling to even visualise the concept. From what I grasp, the transverse mode represents the intensity profile of the output laser beam. However I just can't make the jump from the basic picture of transverse oscillating perpendicular electric and magnetic fields to the picture of the intensity profiles for the transverse modes.

Or, put another way, I can easily visualise the variation of the electric and magnetic fields in a longitudinal (axial direction of the cavity) direction, but I can't visualise or understand why there would be a variation of these fields in a transverse direction.

Sorry for the horribly vague question, but any sort of help would be welcome...

Thanks
 

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