Observations of optical bistability are reported for a system composed of multiple atomic beams passing through a high-finesse optical cavity. Both the transmitted power and the intracavity fluorescent intensity have been recorded as functions of incident laser power for zero cavity and atomic detunings. A quantitative study has been made of the evolution of the steady-state switching intensities from well below the critical onset of bistability to well above this point. The results show reasonable agreement with a Gaussian-beam theory of optical bistability, but systematic departures are noted.
© 1982 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 26, 1982
Published: August 1, 1982
D. E. Grant and H. J. Kimble, "Optical bistability for two-level atoms in a standing-wave cavity," Opt. Lett. 7, 353-355 (1982)