Abstract

In laser spectroscopy, saturation of atomic or molecular transitions cannot be ignored, even at modest laser intensities. The saturation status is customarily diagnosed from measurements of saturation curves describing the dependence of spectroscopic signals on laser intensity. I propose an alternative method that relies on a geometric comparison of the spatial laser profile with images of the spectroscopic quantity under investigation. A single image can be used to determine the saturation status and its associated saturation laser intensity.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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