Applied Optics

Pulse stretching in a q-switched ruby laser for bubble chamber holography

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In testing a holgraphic particle track recording system for the Fermilab 15-ft bubble chamber, it was shown that the peak power of Q-switched laser pulses (˜50-ns duration) at the required energy gave rise to boiling during the chamber expansion. A pulse stretching technique is described which was developed to reduce the peak power. Applied to a ruby laser (oscillator and three amplifiers) with a maximum Q-switched output of 30 J, pulses of up to lOO-^s duration with coherence up to and exceeding 11 m at 2.5 ns were produced. These pulses were amplified to ˜5 J without shape degradation. The considerably increased coherence length will find applications in many fields of pulsed holography, and its use with fiber optics is particularily promising. © 1986 Optical Society of America.