Abstract

The dynamical system of a CO2 laser with feedback control of its cavity length can be unstable, even chaotic. A third equation is added to the usual rate equations to describe the Debye relaxation of the detuning parameter with feedback from the laser output intensity. The steady-state solutions show bistability in the output intensity as the laser excitation is varied if the feedback is strong enough and if it has the correct sign to offset the initial cavity detuning. The critical factor for instabilities is that the relaxation rate for the detuning (bandwidth of the feedback circuit) must exceed the decay rate of the population inversion. Steady-state solutions, stability analyses, and time-dependent solutions are presented.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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