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With any form of phase distortions there is the need to qualitatively characterize beam quality. Three different qualitative criteria are most commonly used for this purpose, each of them describing the beam with one ratio: the overlapping integral, the Strehl ratio, and the M 2 parameter. We have analyzed the interrelation of the above-mentioned criteria in the three most common types of beam quality degradation: thermal lens, electronic self-focusing, and spherical aberration. Approximatedoi:10.1364/ao.46.000774 pmid:17279165 fatcat:mmc2zltgsbendbpugjm4lecfpe