Quantum theory of a swept-gain laser amplifier

Frederic A. Hopf, Pierre Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The buildup of radiation from noise is considered in the case of the small-signal regime of a swept-gain amplifier with small Doppler width, of the sort indicated in recent schemes for an x-ray laser. The treatment uses the fully quantized electromagnetic field in order to take into account the spontaneous emission. The pulse is seen to grow nonexponentially with a rate that vanishes in the limit of large distances. The gain is generally much smaller than would be expected on the basis of the usual development. Many of the features normally associated with the small-signal regime of an amplifier, such as threshold conditions and spectral narrowing, are not seen. Instead we find spectral broadening, saturation, and the formation of steady states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2534-2548
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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