Abstract

Techniques are described for synthesizing a statistically well-characterized radio-frequency noise spectrum and imposing this noise spectrum on a well-stabilized laser beam by means of extracavity phase and frequency modulation. The basis of the noise spectrum is the Gaussian noise-voltage spectrum derived from shot noise. The Gaussian property is carefully preserved at every step, ensuring that correlation functions to all orders can be represented in terms of the lowest-order correlation function, which, in turn, is the Fourier transform of the power spectrum, according to the Wiener–Khintchine theorem. The power spectrum can be measured and controlled, in a range that has Lorentzian and Gaussian forms as limiting cases, by controlling the bandwidth and amplitude of the noise voltage at the source. The objective of this methodology is the definitive experimental study of nonlinear-optical absorption processes, all such processes requiring knowledge of higher-order correlation functions for complete definition.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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