The amplification factor (or gain factor) of an optical amplifier is the factor by which the input power is amplified. For lasers amplifiers, it depends on various details of the laser gain medium and on the degree of its excitation, apart from the optical wavelength and possibly the beam polarization. For optical parametric amplifiers, it depends on the length of the nonlinear crystal, the pump intensity, beam diameters and other factors.
During amplification of an intense optical pulse, the amplification factor may drop due to gain saturation. An effective amplification factor may then be defined as the ratio of output energy and input energy.
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