Giant excess noise and transient gain in misaligned laser cavities

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The excess noise factor is calculated analytically for a very general class of optical cavities, and is shown to have a superexponential dependence on cavity misalignment, easily attaining values of order 1010. The physical basis is shown to be 'transient gain' associated with amplified spontaneous emission. Similarly dramatic effects of symmetry breaking can be expected in other physical systems with non-normal modes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)073903-1
Number of pages73902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • optical cavities
  • optics
  • lasers
  • noise
  • photonics


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