Abstract

Laser frequency fluctuations can be characterized either comprehensively by the frequency noise spectrum or in a simple but incomplete manner by the laser linewidth. A formal relation exists to calculate the linewidth from the frequency noise spectrum, but it is laborious to apply in practice. We recently proposed a much simpler geometrical approximation applicable to any arbitrary frequency noise spectrum. Here we present an experimental validation of this approximation using laser sources of different spectral characteristics. For each of them, we measured both the frequency noise spectrum to calculate the approximate linewidth and the actual linewidth directly. We observe a very good agreement between the approximate and directly measured linewidths over a broad range of values (from kilohertz to megahertz) and for significantly different laser line shapes.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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