The Optimization and Analytical Characterization of Super Cavity Mirrors for Use in the Single Atom Laser Experiment.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE
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The objective of this thesis is to minimize mirror loss with the goal of constructing a higher finesse resonator for use in future single atom laser experiments. In this thesis, I fully characterize low loss super cavity mirrors in terms of their coefficients of reflection R, transmission T, absorption A, and scattering S. New techniques for measuring transmission and absorption are introduced leading to the first partitioning of absorption and scattering losses in super cavity mirrors and the first observation of optical bistability induced from absorption in mirror thin film coatings. Measurements of R and T are done simultaneously with an examination of the cavity ringdown decay while absorption is subsequently measured using the very same experimental configuration. These three measurements then determine S which is identified as the dominant loss mechanism. Finally, with attention focused on scattering, investigations are done to minimize this loss.
- Lasers and Masers