We have studied the polarization characteristics of an ionized-argon laser in a magnetic field. The application of a magnetic field to a laser employing internal mirrors causes the light to break up into a set of right-and left-circularly polarized modes. In a Brewster-window laser, the magnetic field causes the light to become elliptically polarized and causes the axes of the ellipse to rotate. We have investigated the detailed state of polarization of the light. We find that the ellipticity of the light is small, and that the losses introduced by Brewster windows are also small. Our experimental measurements are in general agreement with a theory that takes into account gain saturation in the laser.
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