Abstract

A coherent optical memory is described. The device operates on the principle that an optical resonator employing a holographic grating can have user-prescribed eigenmodes. Each information entity (e.g., an image of a cat) defines an eigenmode of the resonator. The stored information is accessed by injecting partial information (e.g., an image of the cat’s ear) into the resonator. A gain medium internal to the resonator amplifies the field belonging to the eigenmode that most resembles the injected field; the other eigenmodes are suppressed through a competition for the gain. A simple optical memory exhibiting associative recall is demonstrated.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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