Universal description of laser dynamics near threshold

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81 Scopus citations


Complex order parameter descriptions of large aspect ratio, single longitudinal mode, two-level lasers with flat end reflectors, valid near onset of lasing and for small detunings of the laser from the peak gain, are given in terms of a complex Swift-Hohenberg equation for Class A and C lasers and by a complex Swift-Hohenberg equation coupled to a mean flow for the case of a Class B laser. The latter coupled system is a physically consistent generalized rate equation model for wide aperture stiff laser systems. These universal order parameter equations provide a connection between spatially homogeneous oscillating states of the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation description of the laser system valid for finite negative detunings, and traveling wave states, described by coupled Newell-Whitehead-Segel equations valid for finite positive detunings. One of the main conclusions of the present paper is that the usual Eckhaus instability boundary associated with a long wavelength phase instability, and which delineates the region of the stable traveling wave solutions for Class A and C lasers, no longer defines the stability boundary for the mathematically stiff Class B laser. Instead a short wavelength phase instability appears causing the stability domain to shrink as a function of increasing stiffness of the system. This prediction is consistent with the strong spatiotemporal filamentation instabilities experimentally observed in a borad area semiconductor laser, a Class B system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-498
Number of pages21
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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