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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 27, Iss. 21 — Nov. 1, 2002
  • pp: 1869–1871

Why are the eigenmodes of stable laser resonators structurally stable?

Alan Forrester, Margareta Lönnqvist, Miles J. Padgett, and Johannes Courtial  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 27, Issue 21, pp. 1869-1871 (2002)

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Optical resonators are usually examined wave optically. We consider geometrical imaging in stable canonical resonators. We show that, with important exceptions related to eigenmode degeneracy, stable resonators generally image all transverse planes into each other. This insight leads to an intuitive understanding of important properties of the corresponding eigenmodes, most notably their well-known structural stability, i.e., the property that the eigenmodes retain their shape on propagation.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.3430) Lasers and laser optics : Laser theory

Alan Forrester, Margareta Lönnqvist, Miles J. Padgett, and Johannes Courtial, "Why are the eigenmodes of stable laser resonators structurally stable?," Opt. Lett. 27, 1869-1871 (2002)

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  1. A. E. Siegman, Lasers (University Science, Mill Valley, Calif., 1986).
  2. J. Courtial, Opt. Commun. 151, 1 (1998).
  3. Ref. 1, Chap. 19.
  4. J. Courtial and M. J. Padgett, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 5320 (2000).
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  6. Ref. 1, Chap. 15.3.
  7. I. N. Bronstein and K. A. Semendjajew, Taschenbuch der Mathematik, 23rd ed. (Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig, Germany, 1987), p. 240.
  8. The Borel measure of the set of all the irrational numbers in any interval a, b is b-a, whereas that of the rational numbers in the same interval is 0.This is related to the fact that rational numbers are countable.
  9. A. Yariv, Optical Electronics (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1985), Chap. 4.3.
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