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FAQ's Laser Beam Profilers

Q&A: M-Squared Laser Beam Quality


What’s M-Squared, again?

If you’re not familiar with M2 already, it basically sums up your laser beam quality in a single number.

M2 takes a look at your beam caustic (the curve of the laser beam as it focuses and diverges again) and compares this to an ideal Gaussian beam caustic.

So if your beam is perfectly Gaussian, you’ll get M2 = 1. For high quality beams, M2 might be 1.1 or 1.2, for lower qualities you can get up to 3, 4 and even double digits for some low quality high power lasers.

So, how do you know what the M2 of your laser beam really is?


Let’s be honest.

We’d all just prefer that our lasers always worked exactly as they’re supposed to.

Who really wants to measure their laser, when they can just be using it instead?

However, like all processes, a laser must be controlled to be used efficiently, and it must be measured to be controlled (and used) properly.