Abstract

Results of a systematic investigation of an N2O laser with an internal NH3 absorber are reported. Bistability between the cw and off as well as between the cw and Q-switched states is observed. The transitions in the former case resemble first-order phase transitions; whereas in the latter case first- and/or second-order transitions occur. The laser-power dependence of the bistability and Q-switched behavior is investigated in detail. In particular, fluctuations are found to be enhanced near the phase-transition points.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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