I am trying to understand how a real world beam of laser actually reflects the physics description of oscillating electromagnetic waves.
So say we are looking side on at a vertically polarized laser beam, and this is section of it propagating through free space:
Ive cut down the opacity and zoomed in now to illustrate my question on what would the waves look like? Something like...
But how can this form a Gaussian intensity profile? Maybe there are more of these waves dispersed through out it, and their amplitude denotes the intensity e.g:
Where the waves closer to the edge of the beam are the same wavelength but smaller amplitude than the main section...? But now we have only considered a horizontal cross section, what would it be like if you looked at it from above?