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Diode-laser noise conversion in an optically dense atomic sample

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Abstract

We report on oscillating complex noise spectra obtained when a diode-laser beam passes through a resonant dense Doppler-broadened cesium-vapor cell. Atomic coherence converts the laser phase noise into amplitude noise in the transmitted beam. We have found that the level of amplitude noise is orders of magnitude above the intrinsic laser noise. As a function of laser detuning, this noise extends over several inhomogeneous widths, depending on the spectral frequency. Numerical calculations based on a simple theory remarkably mimic the details of the experimental noise spectra.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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