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Accurate measurement of large optical frequency differences with a mode-locked laser

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Abstract

We have used the comb of optical frequencies emitted by a mode-locked laser as a ruler to measure differences of as much as 20 THz between laser frequencies. This is to our knowledge the largest gap measured with a frequency comb, with high potential for further improvements. To check the accuracy of this approach we show that the modes are distributed uniformly in frequency space within the experimental limit of 3.0 parts in 1017. By comparison with an optical frequency comb generator we have verified that the mode separation equals the pulse repetition rate within the experimental limit of 6.0 parts in 1016.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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