Abstract

We present theoretical and experimental studies of the interactions of two counterpropagating waves in a high-gain medium. Our system consists of a long lasing medium placed inside a low-quality Fabry–Perot resonator with an externally injected beam of resonant light. The longitudinal distribution of the light intensity and its dependence on the intensity of the injected beam are analyzed. The competition of forward and backward waves owing to gain saturation strongly affects the typical pattern of the laser operation. We provide a steady-state description of the competition of two resonant beams, solving nonlinear propagation equations subject to a two-point boundary value problem. A possible route from continuous-wave operation to oscillations is discussed. Experimental results appear to confirm our simple theoretical model and show the system’s complex behavior with external injection.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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