Depolarization resulting from thermally induced birefringence in 3.5 at.% Nd:YAG ceramic under lasing is measured to be 1/3 of that under non-lasing condition, which is comparable to that in 1.0 at.% Nd:YAG single crystal under non-lasing condition. The calculation employed is in agreement with the experimental data, indicating that the thermal load under lasing condition can be roughly estimated by the laser input-output characteristics. The thermal load of the 3.5 at.% Nd:YAG ceramic under lasing is found to be more than 40 % smaller than that under non-lasing condition.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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