The physical phenomena that dominate the power characteristics of a laser depend on the detailed nature of the amplifying medium and the resonator structure. In predicting the power characteristics, numerous approximations are always required. The most important approximations are considered here in detail, and error estimates are presented so that a designer can select the appropriate model for a particular application. Emphasis is placed on analytic solutions and specific phenomena considered include longitudinal and transverse spatial hole burning, large single-pass gain, and mixed line broadening.
© 1980 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 22, 1979
Published: February 1, 1980
Lee W. Casperson, "Laser power calculations: sources of error," Appl. Opt. 19, 422-434 (1980)