A continuous-wave, three-level rubidium atom laser, operating on the 795 nm first (D1) resonance transition, has been demonstrated for the first time. Using a Titanium Sapphire laser as a pump source, a slope power efficiency of 54% was obtained, consistent with homogeneous broadening of the rubidium pump and laser transitions. The end-pumped rubidium laser performance was well described using literature spectroscopic and kinetic data in a model that takes into account ground level depletion and pump spectral bandwidth that is substantially larger than the collisionally broadened pump transition spectral width.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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