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.

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Why does shining a laser into an iPhone camera create these shapes?

When I shine a laser light into an iPhone 6 camera I get these weird shapes: The shapes are in no way in the background behind the laser. What causes these to appear? I know about typical lense ...
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2answers
1k views

How can a green laser be reflected as orange?

My friend recently bought a high-powerd pocket laser pen (from China). It is green, and reflects off most surfaces as green. On some orange surfaces, it reflects orange instead. That is to say, we ...
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2answers
412 views

Is gravity the current limitation to laser cooling?

This is something I've been wondering for a while. I've read about the experiment with NASA to reach unprecedented cold temperatures in space because of the microgravity environment not being such a ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
113 views

How to measure temperature of a laser cooled sample at picoKelvin temperatures?

I'm reading about laser cooling.. my question is: how can the temperature of the sample be measured? (using laser cooling we can reach $10^{-12}K...)$
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3answers
576 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
207 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 ...
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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 ...
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191 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 ...
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2answers
728 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 ...
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777 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?
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1answer
722 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 ...
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2answers
181 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 ...
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2answers
185 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 ...
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2answers
143 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 ...
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2answers
462 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 ...
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1answer
408 views

What is the optical power level of common fiber optics lasers?

In the book Nonlinear Optics, it is stated that the nonlinear effects start to become a problem in WDM systems (around 1550 nm) after about 1 mW of optical power. However, I measured the optical power ...
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1answer
33 views

Laser speckle reduction for integration time of microseconds

How to reduce laser speckle noise for an imaging system that demands integration times of microseconds? I am aware of these two commercial solutions: Optotune laser speckle reducer. It has a ...
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2answers
150 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 ...
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1answer
581 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 ...
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1answer
139 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
371 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 ...
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3answers
151 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
276 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 ...
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329 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 \Psi(x,y,t)}{\...
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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 ...
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3answers
336 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?
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1answer
261 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( \frac{t}{...
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406 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?
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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, the ...
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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.
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2answers
723 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 ...
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2answers
707 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?
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929 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 ...
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3answers
527 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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2answers
54 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
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1answer
304 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 ...
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3answers
312 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 ...
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2answers
360 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
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3answers
117 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
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1answer
144 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 ...
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1answer
428 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 ...
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1answer
377 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 ?
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2answers
473 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 ...
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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 ...
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61 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 ...