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This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2006) In optics, optical bistability is an attribute of certain optical devices where two resonant transmissions states are possible and stable, dependent on the input. Optical devices with a feedback mechanism, e.g. a laser, provide two methods of achieving bistability. Absorptive bistability utilizes an absorber to block light inversely dependent on the intensity of the source light. The first bistable state resides at a given intensity where no absorber is used. The second state resides at the point where the light intensity overcomes the absorber's ability to block light. Refractive bistability utilizes an optical mechanism that changes its refractive index inversely dependent on the intensity of the source light. The first bistable state resides at a given intensity where no optical mechanism is used. The second state resides at the point where a certain light intensity causes the light to resonate to the corresponding refractive index. This effect is caused by two factors Nonlinear atom-field interaction Feedback effect of mirror Important cases that might be regarded are: Atomic detuning Cooperating factor Cavity mistuning Applications of this phenomenon include its use in optical transmitters, memory elements and pulse shapers. This engineering article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.v · d · e