Critical Slowing Down and Magnetically-Induced Self-Pulsing in a Sodium-Filled Fabry-Perot Resonator
The level degeneracy of the ground state of atoms acting as a nonlinear medium in optical bistability experiments has attracted much attention recently. The well-known process of transverse optical pumping between Zeeman levels has been discussed as a mechanism yielding considerable nonlinearity even at low power densities1, and the corresponding experiment has been performed on a resonator filled with sodium atoms2. The process of longitudinal optical pumping has also been studied3. While in Refs. 2 and 3 only a single mode of the radiation field interacts with the atoms, the case of two orthogonally polarized degenerate modes has been dicussed, too. It has been predicted4 and experimentally established5 that optical tristability may arise, and it is quite obvious that in the two-mode case the system is capable of displaying a rich variety of behaviour6–9. In this paper we report on an expansion of the experiment of Ref. 2 to the study of transients in the one- and two-mode case.
KeywordsPulse Train Faraday Rotator Transverse Magnetic Field Optical Bistability Input Intensity
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