Stability of a short Rayleigh length laser resonator
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Motivated by the prospect of constructing a short Rayleigh length free-electron laser in a high-vibration environment, we demonstrate the use of a collection of rays to study the effect of mirror vibration and distortion on the behavior of the fundamental optical mode of a cold-cavity resonator. We find that the ray collection accurately describes both on-axis and off-axis optical beams. We show that a tilt or transverse shift of a mirror causes the optical mode to rock about the original resonator axis, while a longitudinal mirror shift or a change in the mirrorâ s radius of curvature causes the beam diameter at a mirror to successively dilate and contract on the mirror. Results are in excellent agreement with analytic calculations and wave front propagation simulations as long as the mirrors remain large with respect to the beam diameter.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.8.040703
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