Statistical properties of a laser beam propagating in a turbulent medium
We examine statistical properties of a laser beam propagating in a turbulent medium. We prove that the
intensity fluctuations at large propagation distances possess a Gaussian probability density function and establish
quantitative criteria for realizing the Gaussian statistics depending on the laser propagation distance, laser
beam waist, laser frequency, and turbulence strength. We calculate explicitly the laser envelope pair correlation
function and corrections to its higher-order correlation functions breaking Gaussianity. We discuss also statistical
properties of the brightest spots in the speckle pattern.