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Cross-compensation of Zernike aberrations in Gaussian optics

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:01 authored by Jakub Czuchnowski, Robert Prevedel
Zernike polynomials are one of the most widely used mathematical descriptors of optical aberrations in the fields of imaging and adaptive optics. Their mathematical orthogonality as well as isomorphisms with experimentally observable aberrations make them a very powerful tool in solving numerous problems in beam optics. However, Zernike aberrations show cross-coupling between individual modes when used in combination with Gaussian beams, an effect that has not been extensively studied. Here we propose a novel framework that is capable of explaining the fundamental cross-compensation of Zernike type aberrations, both in low-aberration and high-aberration regimes. Our approach is based on analysing the coupling between Zernike modes and different classes of Laguerre-Gauss modes which allows investigating aberrated beams not only on a single plane but also during their 3D propagation.

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