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Pulse growth dynamics in laser mode locking
preprintposted on 2023-11-30, 17:21 authored by Mark Popov, Omri Gat
We analyze theoretically and numerically the nonlinear process of pulse formation in mode locked lasers starting from a perturbation of a continuous wave. Focusing on weak to moderate dispersion systems, we show that pulse growth is initially slow, dominated by a cascade of energy from low to high axial modes, followed by fast strongly nonlinear growth and finally relaxation to the stable pulse waveform. The pulse grows initially by condensing a fixed amount of energy into a decreasing time interval, with peak power growing toward a finite-time singularity that is checked when the gain bandwidth is saturated by the pulse.