There are four tightly coupled physical mechanisms which occur in a photodissociation atomic iodine laser: the pump field; the laser field; chemical kinetics; and hydrodynamics. Index-of-refraction changes induced by hydrodynamical activity have been blamed for poor beam quality and low-power output in photodissociation lasers. Until recently, the four mechanisms occurring in photodissociation lasers have been decoupled in theoretical models because of the widerange in time scales on which they act.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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