Optical cavity

optical resonatorlaser cavitycavitylaser resonatoroptical cavitieslaser cavitiescavitiescavity resonatoroptical resonanceResonator
An optical cavity, resonating cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.wikipedia
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Transverse mode

modeTEM modeTEM
The standing wave patterns produced are called modes; longitudinal modes differ only in frequency while transverse modes differ for different frequencies and have different intensity patterns across the cross section of the beam. Examples include acousto-optic modulators for cavity dumping and vacuum spatial filters for transverse mode control.
Transverse modes occur in radio waves and microwaves confined to a waveguide, and also in light waves in an optical fiber and in a laser's optical resonator.

Fabry–Pérot interferometer

Fabry–PérotetalonFabry–Pérot etalon
The simplest of these is the plane-parallel or Fabry–Pérot cavity, consisting of two opposing flat mirrors.
In optics, a Fabry–Pérot interferometer (FPI) or etalon is an optical cavity made from two parallel reflecting surfaces (i.e: thin mirrors).

Resonance

resonantresonant frequencyresonance frequency
Light confined in the cavity reflects multiple times producing standing waves for certain resonance frequencies.
An optical cavity, also called an optical resonator, is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.

Optical parametric oscillator

Optical parametric oscillationOPOparametric oscillation
They are also used in optical parametric oscillators and some interferometers.
The OPO consists essentially of an optical resonator and a nonlinear optical crystal.

Q factor

quality factorQQ-factor
Optical cavities are designed to have a large Q factor; a beam will reflect a very large number of times with little attenuation.
The quality factor of atomic clocks, superconducting RF cavities used in accelerators, and some high-Q lasers can reach as high as 10 11 and higher.

Mirror

mirrorslooking glassreflector
An optical cavity, resonating cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.

Interferometry

interferometerinterferometricoptical interferometry
They are also used in optical parametric oscillators and some interferometers.
Recent repetitions of the Michelson–Morley experiment perform heterodyne measurements of beat frequencies of crossed cryogenic optical resonators.

Resonator

resonant cavitycavity resonatorresonators
An optical cavity, resonating cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.
Thus an optical cavity, also known as a resonator, is a cavity with walls that reflect electromagnetic waves (i.e. light).

Optical microcavity

optical microcavitiesmicrocavitiesmicrocavity
Plane-parallel resonators are therefore commonly used in microchip and microcavity lasers and semiconductor lasers.
As with common lasers this forms an optical cavity or optical resonator, allowing a standing wave to form inside the spacer layer, or a traveling wave that goes around in the ring.

Longitudinal mode

modelongitudinal resonancecavity modes
The standing wave patterns produced are called modes; longitudinal modes differ only in frequency while transverse modes differ for different frequencies and have different intensity patterns across the cross section of the beam.
In the simplest case, the laser's optical cavity is formed by two opposed plane (flat) mirrors surrounding the gain medium (a plane-parallel or Fabry–Pérot cavity).

Gaussian beam

Gaussianbeam waistdiffraction-limited
The basic, or fundamental transverse mode of a resonator is a Gaussian beam.
Even when a laser is not operating in the fundamental Gaussian mode, its power will generally be found among the lowest-order modes using these decompositions, as the spatial extent of higher order modes will tend to exceed the bounds of a laser's resonator (cavity).

Standing wave

standing wavesstationary wavestanding
Light confined in the cavity reflects multiple times producing standing waves for certain resonance frequencies. An optical cavity, resonating cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.
Standing waves are also observed in optical media such as optical wave guides, optical cavities, etc.

Laser

laserslaser beamlaser light
Optical cavities are a major component of lasers, surrounding the gain medium and providing feedback of the laser light.
The most common type of laser uses feedback from an optical cavity—a pair of mirrors on either end of the gain medium.

Laser diode

semiconductor laserdiode laserlaser diodes
Plane-parallel resonators are therefore commonly used in microchip and microcavity lasers and semiconductor lasers.
As in other lasers, the gain region is surrounded with an optical cavity to form a laser.

Morphology-dependent resonance

The resonance is known as morphology-dependent resonance.
Resonances found in certain types of optical cavity that are cylindrical, spherical, and ellipsoidal in shape.

Collimated beam

collimatedcollimationcollimated light
Commonly, a pair of curved mirrors form one or more confocal sections, with the rest of the cavity being quasi-collimated and using plane mirrors.
Laser light from gas or crystal lasers is highly collimated because it is formed in an optical cavity between two parallel mirrors which constrain the light to a path perpendicular to the surfaces of the mirrors.

Amplified spontaneous emission

superluminescencesuperluminescentASE
This prevents amplified spontaneous emission and is important for designing high power amplifiers with good beam quality.
Feedback of the ASE by the laser's optical cavity may produce laser operation if the lasing threshold is reached.

Spatial filter

spatial filteringLinear Spatial Filteringspatial pinhole
Examples include acousto-optic modulators for cavity dumping and vacuum spatial filters for transverse mode control.
This filtering can be applied to transmit a pure transverse mode from a multimode laser while blocking other modes emitted from the optical resonator.

Ray transfer matrix analysis

ray transfer matricesABCD matrix analysisray matrix
By using methods such as ray transfer matrix analysis, it is possible to calculate a stability criterion:
RTM analysis is particularly useful when modeling the behaviour of light in optical resonators, such as those used in lasers.

Laser beam profiler

beam profilebeam-profilingscanning-slit profiler
More complex cavities may be aligned using devices such as electronic autocollimators and laser beam profilers.

Multiple-prism grating laser oscillator

Multiple-prism grating laser oscillatorslaser oscillatorsmultiple-prism grating architectures
Originally, these narrow-linewidth tunable dispersive oscillators were introduced as multiple-prism Littrow (MPL) grating oscillators, or hybrid multiple-prism near-grazing-incidence (HMPGI) grating cavities, in organic dye lasers.

Acousto-optic modulator

acousto-optic tunable filteracousto-optic deflectorsacousto-optical modulator
Examples include acousto-optic modulators for cavity dumping and vacuum spatial filters for transverse mode control.

Video feedback

Optical feedbackvisual feedbackhowlaround
Perhaps the most obvious example of optical feedback in science is the optical cavity found in almost every laser, which typically consists of two mirrors between which light is amplified.

Light

visible lightvisiblelight source
An optical cavity, resonating cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves.

Active laser medium

gain mediumlasing mediumlaser medium
Optical cavities are a major component of lasers, surrounding the gain medium and providing feedback of the laser light.