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Gas Laser Discharge Noise and its Effect on the Laser Output


Yoh, James (1969) Gas Laser Discharge Noise and its Effect on the Laser Output. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ysmv-qp80.


A large portion of the noise in the light output of a laser oscillator is associated with the noise in the laser discharge. The effect of the discharge noise on the laser output has been studied. The discharge noise has been explained through an ac equivalent circuit of the laser discharge tube.

The discharge noise corresponds to time-varying spatial fluctuations in the electron density, the inverted population density and the dielectric permittivity of the laser medium from their equilibrium values. These fluctuations cause a shift in the resonant frequencies of the laser cavity. When the fluctuation in the dielectric permittivity of the laser medium is a longitudinally traveling wave (corresponding to the case in which moving striations exist in the positive column of the laser discharge), the laser output is frequency modulated.

The discharge noise has been analyzed by representing the laser discharge by an equivalent circuit. An appropriate ac equivalent circuit of a laser discharge tube has been obtained by considering the frequency spectrum of the current response of the discharge tube to an ac voltage modulation. It consist of a series ρLC circuit, which represents the discharge region, in parallel with a capacitance C', which comes mainly from the stray wiring. The equivalent inductance and capacitance of the discharge region have been calculated from the values of the resonant frequencies measured on discharge currents, gas pressures and lengths of the positive column. The experimental data provide for a set of typical values and dependencies on the discharge parameters for the equivalent inductance and capacitance of a discharge under laser operating conditions. It has been concluded from the experimental data that the equivalent inductance originates mainly from the positive column while the equivalent capacitance is due to the discharge region other than the positive column.

The ac equivalent circuit of the laser discharge has been shown analytically and experimentally to be applicable to analyzing the internal discharge noise. Experimental measurements have been made on the frequency of moving striations in a laser discharge. Its experimental dependence on the discharge current agrees very well with the expected dependence obtained from an analysis of the circuit and the experimental data on the equivalent circuit elements. The agreement confirms the validity of representing a laser discharge tube by its ac equivalent circuit in analyzing the striation phenomenon and other low frequency noises. Data have also been obtained for the variation of the striation frequency with an externally-applied longitudinal magnetic field and the increase in frequency has been attributed to a decrease in the equivalent inductance of the laser discharge.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering and Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Minor Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • George, Nicholas A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:28 April 1969
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Hughes Aircraft CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Ford FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03212016-082302712
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9628
Deposited On:21 Mar 2016 19:58
Last Modified:06 May 2024 23:08

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