Abstract

We present an experimental and a theoretical investigation of the unstable behavior of the laser-pumped short-cavity alexandrite laser. Its chaotic dynamics is achieved by an increase of the pump laser power. The route to chaos depends on the cavity length and the pump wavelength. The experimental results are explained by the theoretical model, which includes the host-lattice phonons’ dynamics in the standard laser equations. We conclude that the observed laser instabilities are due to the competition between the laser field and phonons in the host crystal. A linear-stability analysis yields the conclusion that the observed chaos has a homoclinic character.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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