Technical Notes

Essentials of Laser Safety

Technical Notes

Learn about laser classifications and the controls and protective equipment required to stay safe.

Fundamentals of Laser Diode Control

Technical Notes

To assess the quality, performance, and characteristics of laser diodes, manufacturers often perform exhaustive testing which requires electro-optical, spectral and spatial characterization of the laser output.

Laser Physics

Technical Notes

A laser is a source of coherent light. It contains an optical oscillator that increases the amplitude of an optical field while maintaining its phase. This coherent amplification is achieved through Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radia...

Light-Matter Interactions in Lasers

Technical Notes

Light is generated from a laser as a result of the following process: electrons in a material move from an excited energy level to a lower-lying energy level and produce photons that contribute to the laser beam.

Characteristics of Laser Light

Technical Notes

The most common laser light characteristics include: wavelength, gain bandwidth, monochromaticity, spatial and temporal profiles, collimation, output power, coherence and polarization.

Critical Laser Components

Technical Notes

The critical components of a laser are a gain medium (acts as medium for population inversion), a pump source (serves as energy source for inverting population), and a resonator (provides feedback).

Types of Lasers

Technical Notes

Lasers are typically identified by their gain medium and are often classified by the radiating species that give rise to stimulated emission.

Methods for Pulsed-Laser Operation

Technical Notes

It is often desirable to operate lasers in a pulsed mode since this can significantly increase the peak output power.

Laser Spectral Tunability

Technical Notes

The first way to perform laser wavelength tuning uses a wavelength-selective element to choose a specific portion under a gain bandwidth to lase. The second method of wavelength tuning involves nonlinear frequency conversion.

Gaussian Beam Optics

Technical Notes

The Gaussian has no obvious boundaries to give it a characteristic dimension like the diameter of the circular aperture, so the definition of the size of a Gaussian is somewhat arbitrary. Figure 1 shows the Gaussian intensity distribution of a typica...
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