Abstract

A Michelson interferometer has been used to measure the visibility curves for the 6328 Å neon emission line in a 90% He–10% Ne gas mixture in order to determine the effect of an optical cavity upon the line shape when the medium exhibits a net gain and yet the system is below lasing threshold. An analytical model for the effect of the cavity is proposed and a computer program set up to fit the model to the data. The cavity gain and finesse are used as variable parameters. The same techniques can be applied to a laser and the number of longitudinal lasing modes can be determined; however, in this case the gain and to some extent the finesse are indeterminate.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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