Abstract

We study the steady-state and dynamic behavior of an optically pumped J = 0 → J = 1 → J = 0 laser operating with an isotropic ring cavity and an axial magnetic field. The gain anisotropy induced by a linearly polarized pump-laser field leads, in the steady state, to locking of the two circularly polarized components of the laser field, which acquires a linear polarization parallel to that of the pump field. In the presence of laser intensity instabilities, however, locking does not occur, and polarization instabilities appear. For the first time to our knowledge, polarization chaos has been found in a laser system.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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