Quantum-noise suppression in lasers via memory-correlation effects.
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We discuss the influence of atomic memory effects on the field fluctuations of a laser in a general context. We derive a Fokker-Planck equation for the field that takes into account the long lifetime of the lasing atoms. Using this equation, we discuss two consequences of atomic memory. First, we find that even in the presence of saturation, memory effects can lead to a reduction of spontaneous-emission noise for short measurement times. Second, we quite generally show that atomic memory effects lead to time-dependent diffusion coefficients. 1990 The American Physical Society.