Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A means of creating coherent light by either driving an atomic or molecular transition in an optical cavity or firing a beam of electrons through an undulator.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
3answers
549 views

Counterpropagating beams in a ring cavity lasers

Ring cavity lasers usually has a intracavity element like a optical diode to forbid standing wave pattern and, consequently, spacial hole burning and related instabilities. So, my question is: why to ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Can 2 beams of ultraviolet light intersect and be visible where they intersect?

Is it possible that if you have 2 ultraviolet lasers, that are invisible to the human eye, and if you aim their beams to intersect at some point, that the place of intersection will show a lower ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

What determines laser frequency?

I am studying Lasers and frequency combs - and am not quite understanding something. I understand the working principle of a laser, and thought the Laser output frequency is just the energy gap ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Using a laser to overhear a room conversation

Movies with science based tricks and gimmicks are generally silly and sometimes even annoying. The science based trick that I don't know enough about to judge is the following (and I have seen it in a ...
4
votes
2answers
185 views

Spectrum of generic $\mathrm{CO_2}$ laser

It is often quoted, that it's emission is 10.6um. But we also know that CO2 lasers have huge number of possible emission lines in 2 main bands: 10.6um and 9.6/9.4um. But what is emission spectra of ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Will a laser beam be affected by the Coriolis Force?

Electronic aiming systems use automated rangefinders that can sometimes be based on lasers. Obviously a projectile itself will be subject to the Coriolis Force (among others) and deviate from its ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

Can we fire a single femtosecond pulse of light without an associated train of additional pulses? What sort of equipment allows for this?

What sort of mode-locked laser systems allow for the production of single isolated pulse of light (as opposed to a train of more than one pulse), where the individual pulse duration is on order ...
4
votes
2answers
698 views

Rocket propelled by a giant monochromatic laser

I am preparing for my quals and stumbled across the following problem, and although it only requires undergraduate-level physics, I feel I can't piece everything together. "A rocket of mass $m_0$ is ...
4
votes
2answers
762 views

Optical Drive Physics

I have been recently wondering how is data stored on and retrieved from optical devices like CDs, DVDs, and Bluray. What makes these different storage types different from each other?
4
votes
1answer
711 views

Focusing laser & off-axis illumination & diffraction limit

I've thought I had a good understanding how resolution enhancement tricks works for projection lithography, until I tried to understand if it's possible to get sub-diffraction performance for focused ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Optical element is heated by laser: is it possible to get oscillating heat distribution?

Imagine that we have thin optical element, which is irradiated by laser. Laser heats element, so there is some heat distribution in element. There is a heat sink through upper and lower element faces ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Why does a laser beam stay collimated?

I am looking for a simple way of explaining the collimation of a laser beam. The typical discussion of the two slit experiment of quantum theory relies heavily on the Huygens principle. Its ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

Is circular masking a laser beam an acceptable way to get the beam diameter you require?

I am wondering what are the down sides to just masking a laser to get the beam diameter you require? For example if you have a collimated eliptical beam of say 2mm width and 4mm height, but you ...
4
votes
2answers
457 views

Gamma Ray LASER Theory and Technology

I am aware that a similar question has been asked by someone else in the past, but in a very general form. Due to the physics interest and technology, in this question I put emphasis on the detail of ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

Michelson interferometer interference pattern [duplicate]

My friend and I recently did an experiment on Lasers where we shot a laser beam through a Michelson interferometer and observed the interference pattern on the wall. Here is the basic setup: One ...
4
votes
1answer
554 views

Will overlapping two different beams of coherent light cause interference?

I have two laser beams with same polarization running parallel to each other. Will they interfere? If yes, then what are the conditions (perpendicular distance etc) and how can I observe the ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

What low-level process drives a frequency-doubling crystal?

I was reading about second-harmonic generation (SHG) crystals (or frequency-doubling crystals) used to produce green laser light from IR. What low-level process in the crystal is actually driving ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

What theories allow for “Tractor Beams”?

NASA recently announced $100k grant to study the possibility of using laser tractor beams. What tractor beam concepts have been published but not been dis-proven?
4
votes
1answer
366 views

Laser frequency tripling

I've heard that common way to get 354nm laser is to triple 1064nm Nd:YAG one. But how to make non-linear crystal to do tripling instead of doubling? What are the best crystals for tripling and what's ...
4
votes
3answers
115 views

Why can't incoherent light be collimated as well as laser light (e.g. in a laser pointer)?

Why does a laser pointer contain a laser diode, and not just an LED? A laser pointer contains a laser diode, which essentially shines coherent light over a large angle, and a collimating lens, to ...
4
votes
1answer
978 views

Turn-on delay time for Laser diode

Do you know any simple explanation on the reason why the turn-on delay time on a laser diode is reducing while we increase the bias current? Turn on delay,is the time that the laser needs from the ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

what is the probability distribution for the angle of an approximate laserbeam

I'm trying to simulate the light distribution characteristics from a Gaussian laser beam, but having difficulty with the angular distribution. I need to generate a large number of points on an x/y ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Natural linewidth of hyperfine levels?

The D2 line of $^{87}Rb$ is the transition between the $5^2$$P_{3/2}$ and the $5^2$$S_{1/2}$ states. Its linewidth $\Gamma$ is always quoted to be $\sim 6 MHz$. But both states have hyperfine ...
3
votes
3answers
310 views

Proper and rigourous derivation of Gaussian beam?

Gaussian beams are known solutions to the Paraxial Wave Equation: $$ \frac{\partial^2 \Psi(x,y,t)}{\partial^2 x} + \frac{\partial^2 \Psi(x,y,t)}{\partial^2 y} = 2ik\frac{\partial ...
3
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

Stimulated Emission

In the case of stimulated emission we always see that one photon goes into the gain medium and two photons come out. How can this conserve energy?
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Would a laser with four possible energy levels be better than three?

I'm wondering about achieving population inversion for a laser. I learned that without an active medium, it's not possible to create a laser with only two energy levels, but it would be possible with ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Why are laser pulses Sech Squared in temporal shape?

Ultrashort pulses from mode-locked lasers often have a temporal shape which can be described with a squared hyperbolic secant ($\mathrm{sech}^2$) function: $$ P(t)=P_0 \mathrm{sech}^2 \left( ...
3
votes
2answers
361 views

What makes a material a good lens for CO2 lasers?

I read on Wikipedia that zinc selenide and germanium make good lenses for $\mathrm{CO}_2$ lasers. My question is, Why?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Beam splitters- Direction of use

There are two cases I'm asking about. The square in the middle is a cube beam splitter in the same orientation for both cases. We are looking at the beam splitter from the top. In the first case, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a UV LED cause air ionization?

I am thinking of the high power LEDs at around 250nm wavelength and an output power of some 30mW optical, in continuous mode either divergent beam or focused.
3
votes
2answers
708 views

The most price-efficient experimental setup involving SPDC, single-photon counting etc

I would like a suggestion on a price-efficient way of experimenting with spontaneous down-conversion and single-photon counting. The simple dual-slit experiment could be one part of an application ...
3
votes
2answers
655 views

How we see laser light if it travels in a straight path? [duplicate]

Light travels in straight path, and our eyes detects an object's reflected light then we see the object. So if laser light is going in a straight path, how come we can see laser light?
3
votes
2answers
915 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
3
votes
3answers
515 views

Why there is a minimum lasing threshold?

Can someone help me understand why it is often mentioned that for certain lasing media there is a certain minimum lasing threshold without mentioning resonator design & doping concentration? As ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Can polarization effect the coherence length?

I'm taking an optics lab in which I'm required to construct an interferometer, and measure the wavelength of a laser, and the coherence length of the light emitted from a candle fire. Now, I've been ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

What is crater's influence on laser ablation?

In many laser ablation experiments (especially Pulsed Laser Deposition), target is moving to avoid crater formation. But I can't find any source that says why it is needed to avoid it. So why is ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

Laser diode spectrum vs LED spectrum, why so much difference in broadness?

I've been reading about how light is produced in both laser diodes (the most common types of lasers) and LED's. The mechanism seems very similar if not exactly the same: one applies a potential ...
3
votes
3answers
299 views

Stimulated emission and No cloning theorem

I have a little trouble with the simulated emission. I know of the no-cloning theorem which states that it is not possible to duplicate any state. One the other hand, I know about the stimulated ...
3
votes
2answers
347 views

Conservation of energy (or lack thereof) in Doppler cooling [duplicate]

I did not find my question answered elsewhere, so here it is. I'm doing a project in my first optics course, and we are reading a bit about Doppler cooling. I understand that a laser is tuned to a ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

Simple Experimental Laser Characterization Parameters Ideas?

I have 2 months to do a project on characterization of a laser parameter. We have typical optics lab equipment (DFB Lasers, oscilloscopes, random number generator, etc.). I was told to choose a laser ...
3
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
411 views

What happens if an already excited electron gets hit by another photon (lasers)?

Slightly vague title but it is the best I can do. My question stems from some interest in how 3 stage lasers function. A photon from the pumping source comes in and strikes a atom in the active ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
3
votes
2answers
465 views

Redirecting light beams from beam splitters

I'm doing a project where I am taking a laser beam and sending it through a beam splitter. As I understand, approximately 50% of the light will go pass through and 50% will be reflected. So this means ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Propagation of light in transparent media: absorption and reemission or scattering?

In the two Phys.SE questions What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium? and Why glass is transparent? transparent media were discussed. But I'd like to clarify ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views
+50

How to find Intensity from field of train of pulses?

Lets say there is process that emits a field $E$ every half cycle of a driving laser pulse (in particular, high harmonic generation). The total field is $$ E_{tot}(t) = \cdots + ...
3
votes
2answers
56 views

Does laser light with less than the work function still ionise some atoms?

If a gas is illuminated with a laser of a frequency less than (but more than half of) the work function of the atoms in the gas, the atoms will be excited into Rydberg atoms. Is there a finite chance ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Can I catch a single photon with webcam's CMOS or CCD sensors?

I thought it would be nice to capturing single photons using a webcam's sensor due to simplicity. I've read that ccd and cmos sensors have a certain percent of quantum efficiency. What about ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Laser cutting - ignition

How is that sometimes laser cutting by burning material or "flame cutting" causes ignition of the whole material like here where the whole paper starts to burn and sometimes doesn't allowing precise ...