Gaussian Beam Viewer

(A Processing program for visualising beam amplitudes)

Daniel Brown

summer project

GBViewer is an easy to use applet for anyone to begin experimenting with various forms of Gaussian laser beams. It allows the user to choose from 3 distinct forms of beam and play with its properties, these are the Hermite-Gaussian, helical Laguerre-Gaussian and sinusoidal Laguerre-Gaussian beams. The applet provides a full 3D representation of the cross section of a beam amplitude with various 2D modes, along with the ability to choose how far along the optical axis to look at the beam. This altogether should give a better understanding of each form of beam. To start using the applet click the image below, the applet page also contains more information regarding the use and features of the program.

The applet was programmed during my summer placement at the University of Birmingham, UK. The aim of the project was to provide a tool for students and those interested, a way to easily visualise a complicated set of equations with minimal fuss. We decided to produce a Java web applet as it is widely accessible and easy to access. We used the freely available Processing and our custom-made gwoptics libraries to build the applet. See also our other Processing examples.