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Intracavity power measurement by Rayleigh scattering

Lloyd W. Hillman, Jerzy Krasinski, John A. Yeazell, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

Appl. Opt. 22, 3474 (1983).

Accurate measurement of intracavity laser power is a necessity in the study of intracavity nonlinear interactions, intracavity saturation spectroscopy, and intracavity harmonic generation. A method for this measurement is described which may offer major advantages over the usual methods. The authors have constructed a simple apparatus to measure the Rayleigh scattered power and thus determine the intracavity power in a high-Q laser cavity. The laser beam, whose power is to be measured, passes through a series of baffles to eliminate all extraneous scattered light. In the central chamber the scattered light is measured using a photomultiplier. The apparatus has some highly desirable properties. It works with both narrowband and broadband beams; it operates over a large range of powers including high powers which the breakdown of the air is the limiting factor. Its primary advantage is that it makes the measurement without introducing additional losses.

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