Abstract

A multimode linear cavity and a single-mode unidirectional ring cavity fiber laser with meter-long cavity lengths are shown to exhibit frequency noise limited by fundamental thermodynamic noise from 100Hz to 100kHz. Their measured spectra agree closely with theoretically derived thermodynamic noise and the characteristic dependence of the frequency noise power spectrum on the inverse of the cavity length is observed. The unidirectional ring laser exhibits a frequency noise of 2Hz/Hz1/2 at 1kHz, one of the lowest published values to date from a free-running laser. The multimode linear cavity laser is shown to be a suitable candidate for thermal-noise-limited, meter-long fiber laser strain sensors with a strain resolution of 14fϵ/Hz1/2 at 1kHz.

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