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Extra-cavity feedback into unstable resonators

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Abstract

Unstable resonators constructed of totally reflecting optics are particularly sensitive to extra-cavity feedback. This is demonstrated experimentally by reflecting the attenuated output of an injection mode-locked TEA CO2 laser, fitted with a confocal unstable resonator, back into the laser resonator. Even after attenuation by -106, significant perturbation (≳10%) could be observed in the temporal characteristics of the output train. A theory of extra-cavity feedback in the geometric limit is presented.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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