Abstract

The emission of higher-order helical waves from lasers is experimentally investigated. Multistability between different helical states and time-dependent emission occurs for class B lasers. The statistical appearance of the different states can be influenced by radial and azimuthal variation of the losses in the laser resonator. Second-order helical-wave emission is also demonstrated for a class A laser. In the case of a small astigmatism the spatial intensity distribution is linked to the helicity.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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