Propagation of flat-topped multi-Gaussian beams The multi-Gaussian beam shape is proposed as a model for aperture functions
and laser beam profiles which have a nearly flat top, but whose sides decrease
continuously. Beams and apertures of this type represent a simple,
elegant, and intuitive alternative to super-Gaussian beams, important in
a number of applications such as laser resonator design. Analytical formulas
are developed for the propagation of these beams through free space and
optical systems representable by ABCD matrices.