Most lasers incorporate intracavity polarization sensitive elements, e.g. Brewster plates, birefringent tuners1–3, windows, etc. Generally, a light beam propagating in a birefringent material splits into two orthogonally polarized components (ordinary and extraordinary) that propagate with different velocities and different ray paths. The intensities of the components depend on the mismatch angle between the polarization axis of the cavity and the crystal axis, and on the gain and loss for each component. For rays propagating parallel to the z axis, the velocities of the two rays are determined by nx and ny.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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