J. Phys. I France
Volume 2, Numéro 7, July 1992
Page(s) 1287 - 1303
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1992211
J. Phys. I France 2 (1992) 1287-1303

A high accuracy method for the simulation of non-ideal optical cavities

Jean-Yves Vinet1, Patrice Hello1, 2, Catherine N. Man2 and Alain Brillet2

1  Groupe de Recherche sur les Ondes de Gravitation, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, Ecole Polytechnique - ENSTA, 91120 Palaiseau, France
2  Groupe Virgo, Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire, Université de Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 208, 91405 Orsay, France

(Received 17 October 1991, accepted in final form 18 February 1992)

We present an algorithm able to represent with a high accuracy any kind of stable cavity, even when many static or dynamical defects are present, like misalignments, curvature errors, surface irregularities, substrate inhomogeneities... We first present the theory, giving ideas on its validity domain, and a discussion of its accuracy in terms of a RMS phase error, which is found to be negligible compared to the phase noise due to roughness of optical surfaces. Then we show that the well-known features of ideal resonant cavities are found by the algorithm with a good accuracy. This tool can help for designing laser cavities, mode cleaners, or passive Fabry-Perot standards ; as an example, some results are presented concerning the design of a very long cavity planned for interferometric purposes.

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