ABCD free download for Mac


13 June 2013

Calculate properties of a laser beam propagating through optical elements.


ABCD Gaussian Beam Propagation is an application that calculates the various properties of a laser beam propagating through simple optical elements. It displays the beam and the optical setup in a graphical window that can be manipulated by the user. A table shows the values at all points, they can be copied and used in plotting applications.


  • User-defined inputs (wavelength, radius of curvature, size) and M-square (i.e. multimode equivalence)
  • Calculate propagation through free space, dielectrics, lenses and mirrors. Use toolbars to add elements
  • Calculate eigenmodes of a laser resonator
  • Obtain the beam size, radius of curvature, waist size, waist position, and Rayleigh range at any point
  • Copy and paste values (radius, beam size) into your own plotting program
  • Copy the physical appearance of the setup as a PDF
  • All calculations are performed using the ray matrix formalism (i.e. ABCD matrices) and therefore make the paraxial approximation

What's new in ABCD

Version 4.1:
  • Now works on OS X 10.6.x and 10.7.x
  • Printing, in the form of a detailed calculation summary
  • New optical elements: gaussian ducts
  • Significant performance improvements, especially for large setups with many elements
  • User can choose calculations performed before or after optical elements
  • When drag-positioning elements, if multiple elements are selected, they move together
  • Preferences for laser color, default property values, number of sampling points for graphs
  • Slightly modified file format, automatically converted from prior version

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