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Appl Opt. 1973 May 1;12(5):997-1010. doi: 10.1364/AO.12.000997.

Iterative diffraction calculations of transverse mode distributions in confocal unstable laser resonators.


A theoretical investigation has been undertaken to study the transverse modes of two-dimensional positive branch, confocal unstable resonators. Mode amplitude and phase information is obtained from a numerical-iterative type calculation that uses the Fresnel integral for propagating the cavity radiation back and forth between resonator mirrors. Near- and far-field distributions for empty cavity resonators are presented for various resonator Fresnel numbers and magnifications, along with results of resonator mode stability and diffraction losses when cavity perturbations such as mirror misalignment and/or a uniformly saturable gain medium are included. In addition, the diffractive calculations are compared with results obtained from geometric models.


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