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Expressions are derived for the output power of a gas laser in single-mode operation. This theory is then extended to multimode operation where the mode spacing is less than the pressure-broadened "natural" atomic linewidth. Using measured values for the linewidth and saturation parameters, these formulas are used to predict 6328-Å output power for a He-Ne laser as a function of laser gain, cavity loss, and output coupling. Experiments are reported which show good agreement with the theoretical predictions, and it is concluded that the theory presented here is adequate to describe the main features of the power output behavior of a 6328-Å He-Ne gas laser.