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Thermal effects in a Nd:YAG laser rod, which is pumped continuously by tungsten iodine lamps, are described. Measurements using a 0.6328-μman probe beam yielded temperature distribution in and at the boundary of the rod. The results of birefringence and focal length are consistent with theoretical treatments, if an effective heat conversion coefficient peculiar to the apparatus is assumed. The resonance condition of an optical resonator containing a rod exhibiting focusing effect is discussed.