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Physical Review A



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This paper presents new results for the steady states of a detuned ring laser with a saturable absorber. We employ a semiclassical model which assumes homogeneously broadened two-level atoms. We proceed by solving the Maxwell-Bloch equations for the longitudinal dependence of the steady states of this system, and then simplify our solution by use of the uniform-field approximation. We present uniform-field results for squared electric field versus operating frequency, and for each of these versus cavity tuning and laser excitation. Various cavity linewidths and both resonant and nonresonant amplifier and absorber line-center frequencies are considered. The most notable finding is that cavity detuning breaks the degeneracies found in the steady-state solutions of the fully tuned case. This leads to the prediction that an actual system will bifurcate from the zero-intensity solution to a steady-state solution as laser excitation increases from zero, rather than to the small-amplitude pulsations found for the model with exactly resonant tuning of the cavity and the media line centers. Other phenomena suggested by the steady-state results include tuning-dependent hysteresis and bistability, and instability in both intensity and frequency due to the appearance of one or more new steady-state solutions as tuning is varied. These effects of detuning are being tested by a linearized stability analysis whose results will be reported separately.



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