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Laser oscillator

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #4977574.

A laser oscillator is provided with a folded laser resonator which includes an output coupling mirror (4), a rear mirror (10) and folding mirrors (11,12). The rear mirror (10) has a maximum reflectivity with respect to a linear polarization component of the laser beam, in which the linear polarization component has an E vector the direction of which is rotated from an incident plane of the nearest folding mirror by .pi./4. The folding mirrors (11,12) function as a whole as a phase retarder imposing a .pi./2 phase delay with respect to parallel and perpendicular polarization components of the laser beam, and accordingly, a circularly polarized laser beam is obtained from the laser oscillator.

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