Abstract

Fluctuations of the two mode intensities in an Rh6G-dye ring laser have been investigated experimentally by two-time photoelectric autocorrelation and cross-correlation measurements, over a range of working points from well below to well above threshold. The results are compared with computer solutions of the laser equations of motion containing both additive (quantum) noise and multiplicative (pumping) noise. The former noise is taken to be white, and the latter Lorentzian. Reasonable agreement between theory and experiment is obtained. Very large intensity fluctuations are observed just below threshold, which are attributable to pumping fluctuations. In this domain of operation both laser modes turn on and off together, and the intensity cross-correlation function is positive with relatively short correlation time. Well above threshold, on the other hand, the laser switches alternately between the two modes, and the intensity cross correlation is negative with long time constant. The mode switching is associated with quantum, or spontaneous emission, fluctuations and disappears in their absence. A graph of correlation time versus intensity exhibits a drastic steepening in the region where mode switching commences, even on a logarithmic scale, and this is consistent with first-passage time calculations.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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