Abstract

The occurrence of pure rotational-to-rotational lasing from high J levels suggests that present rotational nonequilibrium mechanisms are inadequate to explain all lasing behavior of the HF laser. A possible mechanism for explaining this behavior is vibrational-to-rotational energy transfer. The usual assumption that vibrational relaxation occurs with rotational levels at equilibrium at the translational temperature is replaced with a near resonant multiquanta VR process that results in the formation of highly excited rotational states. Computer simulations incorporating VR relaxation predicted significant occurrence of rotational lasing. A simpler model that produced rotational nonequilibrium from pumping and P-branch lasing did not exhibit rotational lasing. Rotational lasing did not decrease energy available to P-branch lasing and produced effects resembling an increase in rotational relaxation rates. Rotational lasing is very sensitive to kinetics for both VR energy exchange and rotational relaxation.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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