Abstract

The statistics of turn-on delay times for a longitudinal mode and the total intensity from a multimode, standing-wave, short-cavity dye laser are measured and compared with numerical simulations of a multimode theory of laser dynamics. Differences between the measurements and the theory for the average and standard deviation of the turn-on time are due to transitory modes that decay as a result of frequency-dependent losses and gains. Associated with this phenomenon is a kink in the time evolution of the mode intensity that represents a transition in the dynamics from domination by independent growth of all modes to domination by competition between modes with differing net gains. This unequal competition increases the average and standard deviation of the mode turn-on time.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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