Observation of Ikeda Instabilities and Optical Bistability in an All-Optical Resonator Containing NH3 Gas

  • R. G. Harrison
  • C. A. Emshary
  • I. A. Al-Saidi
  • W. J. Firth


Substantial effort over the last few years on optically bistable systems has more recently been extended to considerations of period-doubling cascades to chaotic behaviour1,2 in such systems. Passive all-optical systems are particularly interesting here, as basically simple arrangements capable of exhibiting oscillation3,4 and turbulence, but also because they can be fully quantised. Ikeda5 showed in 1979 that an optically-bistable ring resonator containing a two-level system can show a period-doubling cascade, a sufficiently strong c.w. input beam yielding an output oscillating at twice the resonator round trip time tR On further increasing the input field the output period doubles to chaos. Since then, observations of these phenomena have been made in various optical systems, such as a hybrid bistable device6 and lasers7,8 but the nearest approach to Ikeda’s system has been a recent demonstration9 in fibre-optic resonator, using mode-locked excitation to avoid stimulated scattering. None of these systems are particularly simple, nor do they lend themselves to quantisation.


Ring Resonator Optical Bistability Bistable System Oscilloscope Trace Pump Signal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Harrison
    • 1
  • C. A. Emshary
    • 1
  • I. A. Al-Saidi
    • 1
  • W. J. Firth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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