The results of a theoretical and experimental investigation of a scanning spherical mirror interferometer designed specifically for analysis of laser radiation are given. It is shown that the high degree of spatial coherence and monochromaticity of laser radiation makes it possible to excite individual interferometer modes selectively. A theory of single-mode excitation is presented, and a specific example treated. The mechanical construction of the instrument and the dynamics of the scanning system are described. The capability of the instrument for observation of laser mode separation, amplitudes, and frequency shifts is illustrated by specific experiments. It is shown that the instrument can easily be used in both the visible and infrared. Results of simultaneous observation of beats between laser modes with an rf spectrum analyzer and of the laser optical field with the scanning interferometer are given, and it is shown that the combined system, in certain cases, will permit determination of the relative phases of the laser modes. Experiments illustrating the use of the scanning interferometer for observation of mode competition and the effects of magnetic fields on laser output are recounted, as is also the operation of an active scanning interferometer with which resolving powers of 2.5 × 109 and finesses of 1040 were obtained. Effects of coupling between laser and interferometer are shown, and a polarization isolator for decoupling is described.
© 1964 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
CorrectionsR. L. Fork, D. R. Herriott, and H. Kogelnik, "Erratum: A Scanning Spherical Xirror Interferometer for Spectral Analysis of Laser Radiation," Appl. Opt. 4, 180-180 (1965)
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