Abstract

The amount of asymmetry of saturated-absorption peaks observed outside a cavity with two collinearly counterpropagating Gaussian beams is analyzed at different points in the cross section of the probe beam. Although the total beam exhibits a quasi-symmetric line shape, a spatial distribution of asymmetries with different amounts and signs is obtained versus the distance to the beam axis. A simple model taking account of pure focusing and defocusing effects induced by a saturated Gaussian beam leads to agreement between experiment and theory for the 5944-Å neon line in the case of saturated-absorption spectroscopy.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

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