Abstract

A continuous optical maser has been operated at five wavelengths in the near infrared. Such a maser oscillator consists of a medium having optical amplification at the wavelength of interest and a Fabry-Perot interferometer as a resonant cavity.

The optical amplification is provided by maser action in a discharge through a mixture of helium and neon gas. The Fabry-Perot interferometer is constructed within the gas volume using two very flat, and highly reflecting, parallel, silica plates.

The transmission of the Fabry-Perot plates, although small, allows a beam to pass through each end window, with four milliwatts of continuous output power in the strongest transition at 1.153-μ wavelength.

Examination of the beam shows that it is almost diffraction limited for its one-centimeter diameter. The spectral line shape at each transition is made up of three or more components each less than a few hundred cycles in width separated by the spacing of orders in the interferometer.

© 1962 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
    [Crossref]
  2. A. Javan, Phys. Rev. Letters 3, 87 (1959).
    [Crossref]
  3. W. R. Bennett, Proceedings of the 2nd Quantum Electronics Conference (to be published).
  4. John Strong, Proceedings in Experimental Physics (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1938), p. 376.
  5. H. E. Bennett and W. F. Koehler, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 50, 1 (1960).
    [Crossref]
  6. D. R. Herriott, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1142 (1961).
    [Crossref]
  7. A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
    [Crossref]
  8. A. G. Fox and T. Li, Bell System Tech. J. 40, 453 (1961).
    [Crossref]

1961 (3)

A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
[Crossref]

D. R. Herriott, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1142 (1961).
[Crossref]

A. G. Fox and T. Li, Bell System Tech. J. 40, 453 (1961).
[Crossref]

1960 (1)

1959 (1)

A. Javan, Phys. Rev. Letters 3, 87 (1959).
[Crossref]

1955 (1)

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
[Crossref]

Bennett, H. E.

Bennett, W. R.

A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
[Crossref]

W. R. Bennett, Proceedings of the 2nd Quantum Electronics Conference (to be published).

Forrester, A. T.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
[Crossref]

Fox, A. G.

A. G. Fox and T. Li, Bell System Tech. J. 40, 453 (1961).
[Crossref]

Gudmundsen, R. A.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
[Crossref]

Herriott, D. R.

A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
[Crossref]

D. R. Herriott, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1142 (1961).
[Crossref]

Javan, A.

A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
[Crossref]

A. Javan, Phys. Rev. Letters 3, 87 (1959).
[Crossref]

Johnson, P. O.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
[Crossref]

Koehler, W. F.

Li, T.

A. G. Fox and T. Li, Bell System Tech. J. 40, 453 (1961).
[Crossref]

Strong, John

John Strong, Proceedings in Experimental Physics (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1938), p. 376.

Bell System Tech. J. (1)

A. G. Fox and T. Li, Bell System Tech. J. 40, 453 (1961).
[Crossref]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (2)

Phys. Rev. (1)

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
[Crossref]

Phys. Rev. Letters (2)

A. Javan, W. R. Bennett, and D. R. Herriott, Phys. Rev. Letters 6, 106 (1961).
[Crossref]

A. Javan, Phys. Rev. Letters 3, 87 (1959).
[Crossref]

Other (2)

W. R. Bennett, Proceedings of the 2nd Quantum Electronics Conference (to be published).

John Strong, Proceedings in Experimental Physics (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1938), p. 376.

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Figures (16)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

First continuous optical maser.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Energy levels in helium and neon.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Reflectance and transmittance curves of the highly reflecting film on Fabry-Perot plates and wavelengths of maser oscillation.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Multiple-wavelength, multiple-beam fringes of combinations of three plates.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Diagram of optical maser.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Near-field output of maser.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Near-field pattern with plate tipped.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Far-field pattern of maser.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Far-field pattern with plate tipped.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Near-field patterns obtained with maser having poorer surface flatness.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Far-field patterns obtained with maser having poorer surface flatness.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Multiple-slit diffraction patterns.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Spectral-linewidth factors in optical maser.

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Beating of optical frequencies.

Fig. 15
Fig. 15

Radio-frequency spectrum-analyzer patterns of beat frequencies.

Fig. 16
Fig. 16

Interferometric observation of line shape.