Laser: CW-oscillation in a 3-level laser


by Niles
Tags: 3level, cwoscillation, laser
Niles
Niles is offline
#1
Dec28-09, 10:20 AM
P: 1,863
Hi

At continuous-wave oscillation the gain is equal to the threshold gain, i.e. g = gthreshold. Now in my book, I have the following expression for the steady-state population-inversion for a three-level laser

N2, steady state - N1, steady state = (P-Γ12)/(P+Γ12)NT

where NT=N1, steady state+N2, steady state, P is the pump rate and Γ12 is the rate at which level 2 decays into level 1. Now my question is: If at CW-oscillation g=gt, then why is it that we can change N2, steady state - N1, steady state (and thereby the gain) in a three-level laser at steady-state? Isn't this a contradiction?
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Cthugha
Cthugha is offline
#2
Dec28-09, 12:41 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,563
What happens if you increase the pumping power further after laser oscillation sets in, is called gain clamping or upper population clamping. Any atoms you pump into the upper level will be almost immediately converted into laser light as fast as you pump them up (well - on statistical average, of course not necessarily the same atoms you just pumped up). Therefore the decay rate will also momentarily increase. If you do not increase the pump power constantly but just add short pulses of high pump power, you might also see the population numbers and the intracavity photon number undergo relaxation oscillations according to the fluctuation-dissipation theorem.


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