Self-Organization, Broken Symmetry, and Lasing in an Atomic Vapor: The Interdependence of Gratings and Gain

P. R. Hemmer, N. P. Bigelow, D. P. Katz, M. S. Shahriar, L. Desalvo, R. Bonifacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a novel optical gain mechanism observed in a strongly driven Doppler-broadened atomic vapor. Gain and self-stabilizing laser oscillations are observed in a direction which is counterpropagating with respect to the traveling wave pump. Using Bragg diffraction, we show that the underlying gain-lasing mechanism is directly tied to a spontaneously formed optical wavelength grating. We suggest that this grating arises from a self-organization or self-bunching of the atoms, an effect which is mediated by recoil just as in the free electron laser. 1996

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1468-1471
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume77
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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