Abstract

A high-gain continuous-wave laser may exhibit an output instability in the form of a periodic pulse train or chaotic signal. In the time domain, the instability is interpreted as resulting from the inability of the medium’s polarization to respond quickly enough to perturbations in the optical field of the cavity. In the frequency domain, it can be interpreted as arising from the splitting of a single longitudinal mode into several oscillating lines, each of which satisfies the same cavity-resonance condition as the original mode. We show that the mode-splitting interpretation of the instability yields a new understanding of the complex behavior reported in xenon, helium–xenon, and helium–neon lasers. The fundamental frequencies of the instability and the possibility of chaotic output are shown to be consistent with unequally spaced resonant modes that arise close to the laser threshold. With saturation, nonresonant harmonics of the fundamental frequencies appear in the laser output. These harmonics have fixed phases relative to the resonant modes and lead to the complex asymmetries of the pulse shapes. Interaction between the resonant and nonresonant modes can trigger period doubling in the pulse train.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Spontaneous coherent pulsations in ring-laser oscillators

Lee W. Casperson
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 2(1) 62-72 (1985)

Spontaneous coherent pulsations in standing-wave laser oscillators

Lee W. Casperson
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 5(5) 958-969 (1988)

Spontaneous coherent pulsations in standing-wave laser oscillators: stability criteria for homogeneous broadening

Pitak Chenkosol and Lee W. Casperson
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 10(5) 817-826 (1993)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (13)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (57)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription