Since the field inside an optical cavity is a complex quantity, analysis in the phase plane gives a deeper insight into its time evolution. This was emphasized by the findings of Hopf and Meystre. We have extended their numerical analysis to include the possibility of Ikeda instabilities, showing that parameters can be selected that avoid Ikeda instabilities but permit intracavity phase switching. Switching, both up and down, can always be accomplished by applying an external pulse which changes the cavity detuning for an appropriate number of round trips. Inclusion of diffraction effects in one transverse dimension does not prevent switching. Clear, preset, and flip-flop operations, analogous to electronic operations, can also be achieved by properly choosing the external control pulses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering