Abstract

The influence of the distribution of light intensity in the pumping and detection beams on the shape of the relaxation signal of an optically pumped vapor contained in a spherical cell is studied. The following factors are considered: (1) exponential attenuation of pumping light intensity inside the cell; (2) Gaussian-shaped spatial distribution of intensity in the pumping light beam; and (3) cylindrical detection beam not covering, in general, the whole volume of the cell. The dependence of the relative amplitudes of the dominant diffusion modes on these factors is obtained. In particular, the contribution of the second most important mode to the relaxation signal is shown to vanish if the radius of the detection beam is 0.54 times the radius of the cell.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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