Abstract

Measurements of the switch-on time statistical properties of a single-mode Ar+ laser modulated by an acousto-optic modulator (AOM) are reported. The mean switch-on time, 〈τ〉, is found to increase linearly with the time of application of the AOM, toff, before reaching a constant value for large values of toff. The switch-on time variance, στ, shows a maximum as a function of toff. These results are explained with the use of a model that includes the spontaneous emission noise and fluctuations in the loss factor caused by the random character of the radio frequency signal driving the AOM. An analytic approximation is developed to obtain the slope of 〈τ〉 versus toff and to characterize the maximum of στ

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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