1
vote
1answer
45 views

What would a laser beam's E-M waves actually look like if you zoomed in?

I am trying to understand how a real world beam of laser actually reflects the physics description of oscillating electromagnetic waves. So say we are looking side on at a vertically polarized laser ...
1
vote
2answers
374 views

From power of a laser beam to electric field amplitude

In my experiment, I use a laser beam with wavelength $\lambda=894 \text{nm}$ for some magnetic resonance experiment. Right now, I'm doing some calculation using Quantum Mechanics, which requires the ...
11
votes
4answers
241 views

Does the speed of medium affect the path of light?

Let's say I shine a laser from a stationary medium into a moving medium (suppose the water is moving very quickly) perpendicular to the interface and back to a stationary medium like this: (Note: ...
8
votes
3answers
567 views

Why use lasers for intense, localized heat instead of some other light source?

Lasers are used in various industrial processes that need intense, localised, heat (3d printers and laser cutters come to mind). My question is: why use lasers? There are many other (cheaper, ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

How to calculate loss due to Gaussian beam divergence of a laser going through multiple lenses?

To better explain my question, I will need to give a brief description of the configuration used in 2D MEMS switches. So, the next figure shows a configuration of a 2D MEMS switch, a light beam ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Spatial light modulation for mode multiplexing, how does it work?

If a laser light becomes spatial phase modulated (by phase only spatial light modulator) what happens to the intensity distribution and frequency spectrum of the laser light ? I know that this ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Do acousto-optic modulators shift the frequency of the diffracted beams?

Today I read an introduction on an optical device called an acousto-optic modulator, which is used in many optical experiments. It is the first time I have heard of this element. The material showed ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Polarisation of light is a wave concept or applicable to photons as well?

I have a very fundamental question. We explain polarisation of light assuming wave nature of light. Is it still valid if we assume light as photons? Or in other words, polarisation is a wave concept ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Max temperature that can be obtained from radiation source when nonlinear interaction with matter is important?

Using a black body radiation as furnace it is usually said that the max achievable $T$ is limited to the T of the source. So a source of 3000K can not be used to heat a body above 3000K. A long ...
6
votes
4answers
359 views

Why is laser light a cone?

What about the production of laser light disallows it to be perfectly straight as opposed to a cone? I feel like it should be a plane wave, not a very tight cone.
5
votes
2answers
801 views

Why is the photon emitted in the same direction as incoming radiation in Laser?

When an atom “lases” it always gives up its energy in the same direction and phase as the incoming light. Why does this happen? How can this be explained? How does the photon generated because of ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Time reversed laser

Recently, I read an article on time reversed laser. I don't know why they call it a time reversed. I have a doubt that why they use two laser in the device. And what is an anti-laser? The device ...
0
votes
2answers
459 views

New infrared laser weapon made by the USA - How does it work? [closed]

I have seen this post: New infrared laser weapon, the Laser Weapons System, could shoot down drones or disable ships: US Navy You can watch the video as well. that exhibits a laser weapon which can ...
8
votes
2answers
906 views

What exactly is the difference between a sychrotron light source and a free electron laser?

Cyclotron radiation is radiation emitted by a charged particle being bent by a magnetic field. The only difference between cyclotron and synchrotron radiation is that the latter occurs at relativistic ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Macroscopic chromodynamics

Lately I've been reading about gamma ray lasing phenomena, and I've been wondering about the applications of this. More concretely, the above fantastic question led me to wonder if we could somehow ...
23
votes
2answers
697 views

Why does laser light not affect glowing materials?

I have this childrens rubber ball which glows in the dark after it's exposed to light. I "charge" it with a flash light then play with my dogs at night. I thought to try a very intense green laser, ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

What narrow-linewidth laser system runs at 2100nm with 1W of power?

For an experiment at our university we need a laser that runs at about 2.1 μm (about 20nm higher or lower would be fine too. We have found a multitude of lasers that achieve this (typically Thulium- ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

How can a laser pointer have range of several kilometers in atmosphere?

Laser pointers manufacturers claim that some pointers have range of several kilometers. Okay, they use a powerful laser, but that powerful laser usually has power less than one watt. Okay, the laser ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are lasers inefficient?

Why are lasers inefficient? Is it because of the heat lost during lasing? Why couldn't there be thermocouples or turbines in parts of the cooling circuits to extract something out of that heat?
3
votes
3answers
4k views

How do laser rangefinders work when the object surface is not perpendicular to the laser beam?

I find the functioning of a laser rangefinder confusing. The explanation usually goes like this: "you shine a laser beam onto the object, the laser beam gets reflected and gets back to the device and ...
5
votes
2answers
233 views

What reflective media do laser shows use?

I am having a hard time in finding out what exact light media laser shows use. I am trying to build a laser show myself. I know that the laser light is reflected off these particles in such a way that ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can radio waves be formed into a pencil beam?

Laser beams are said to have high "spacial coherence". This means that the beam is highly concentrated even at long distances (low spread). Can this be achieved with radio waves (much longer waves) ...