Abstract

We show experimentally that under certain conditions the chaotic intensity dynamics of an optically pumped NH3 bidirectional ring laser could be well described in terms of Shil'nikov homoclinic orbits and chaos. We found that the mechanism that resulted in this kind of dynamics of the laser is the competition between effects caused by the mode interaction between the forward and the backward modes of the laser and by the intrinsic single-mode dynamics of the interacting modes.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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