Skip to Main Content
The reciprocity relation of McCumber which states that the emission and absorption spectra of broad solid-state laser transitions are related by the classical Boltzmann factor is critically examined. It is argued that it should be treated as an exact property of homogeneously broadened amorphous host gain media at room temperature. The contradiction between these conclusions and those of recent literature arguing against the applicability of the McCumber relation for erbium doped silica is resolved. Experimental support for the McCumber relationship in erbium doped silica fiber is provided.