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Fractal structure of eigenmodes of unstable-cavity lasers

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Abstract

We show that the eigenmodes of unstable-cavity lasers have fractal structure, in contrast with the well-known stable-cavity eigenmodes. As with all fractals, the dynamic range over which self-similarity holds is limited; in this case the range is set by diffraction, i.e., by the Fresnel number of the resonator. We determine the fractal dimension of the mode profiles and show that it is related to the aperture shape.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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