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glossary

Laser: acronym of : « light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation » ; device emitting spatially and temporally coherent light radiation based on the stimulated emission

Waist: position along the propagation axis where a laser beam has the smallest size

Wavelength ( of a light wave ): distance between two consecutive identical states of the electric ( or magnetic ) field

M square factor (M2): ratio between the divergence of an embedded gaussian beam and that of the fundamental mode of a laser (gaussian mode) with the same waist size and at the same wavelength

Embedded gaussian beam: beam with a gaussian intensity distribution used to simulate a real beam from the gaussian fundamental mode ; characterized by the M-square coefficient representing the ratio between its divergence and that of the fundamental gaussian mode with the same waist size