Abstract

In this Letter, a new kind of active optical bistability is discussed. The basic principle underlying the operation of the optically bistable laser is based on stable–unstable cavity configuration transitions of an active optical resonator. Generally speaking, a laser system showing both pump- and laser-induced lensing (focusing or defocusing) effects may display such a hysteresis loop in its input–output characteristics. This bistability is experimentally demonstrated using a flashlamp-pumped, Nd-doped gadolinium gallium garnet rod placed in a plane-parallel optical cavity.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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