We analyze the interaction and the competition of a set of transverse cavity modes, which belong to a frequency-degenerate family. The laser turns out to be able to realize several different stationary spatial patterns, which differ in the transverse configuration of the intensity or of the field and are met by varying the values of the control parameters. A striking feature that emerges in almost all steady-state patterns is the presence of dark points, in which both the real and the imaginary part of the electric field vanish and such that, if one covers a closed loop around one of these points, the field phase changes by a multiple of 2-pi, which corresponds to the topological charge of the point. We show in detail the analogy of these phase singularities to the vortex structures well known in such fields as, for example, hydrodynamics, superconductivity, and superfluidity. In our case, at steady state, these singularities are arranged in the form of regular crystals, and the equiphase lines of the field exhibit a notable similarity to the field lines of the electrostatic field generated by a corresponding set of point charges. We analyze in detail the patterns that emerge in the cases 2p + l = 2 and 2p + l = 3, where p and l are the radial and angular modal indices, respectively, and we compare the results with the experimental observations obtained from a Na2 laser. The observed patterns agree in detail with those found by theory; in particular, they exhibit the predicted phase singularities in each pattern. The transitions from one pattern to another, that one observes under variation of the control parameters, basically agree with those predicted by theory.
|Titolo:||Transverse laser patterns. I. Phase singularity crystals|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1991|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.43.5090|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|