Abstract

Length and g-factor are fundamental parameters that characterize optical cavities. We developed a technique to measure these parameters in situ by determining the frequency spacing between the resonances of fundamental and spatial modes of an optical cavity. Two laser beams are injected into the cavity, and their relative frequency is scanned by a phase-lock loop, while the cavity is locked to either laser. The measurement of the amplitude of their beat note in transmission reveals the resonances of the longitudinal and the transverse modes of the cavity and their spacing. This method proves particularly useful to characterize complex optical systems, including very long and/or coupled optical cavities, as in gravitational-wave interferometers. This technique and the results of its application to the coupled cavities of a 40 m-long gravitational-wave interferometer prototype are presented here.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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