I am looking for good introductory papers and/or books on the principles of lasers. In particular, I am interested in pulsed laser technology.

I understand that

Gould, R. Gordon (1959). "The LASER, Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"

was one of the principal papers published by the disputed inventor himself. What are other good sources?


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  • $\begingroup$ First optical laser made by Maiman in 1960. See nature.com/nature/journal/v187/n4736/abs/187493a0.html $\endgroup$ – gigacyan Dec 20 '10 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ CW lasers? Pulsed lasers? just lasers (i.e. population inversion and stuff like that?)? $\endgroup$ – Steve Dec 20 '10 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ if you want u can cite Einstein on the matter of Stimulated emission.. such as Maria Goppert Mayer is always cited on matter of two-photon excitation.. it's always cool to cite einstein! :) $\endgroup$ – Steve Dec 20 '10 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ @gigacyan - Interesting. @Steve - You make a valid point, actually I am mostly interested in pulsed laser technology. @Steve - I agree, Einstein is a heavy guy to quote. $\endgroup$ – Theodor Dec 20 '10 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ First learn the fundamentals in wikipidea, and you will find plenty of references there.. $\endgroup$ – mcodesmart Jan 14 '14 at 22:16

This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by the site's policy on resource recommendation questions. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.

  • Rüdiger Paschotta: Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology, online version or paper version.

  • You can look for LIA Handbook of Laser Material Processing or Laser Processing of Engineering Materials by John C. Ion.

  • Orazio Svelto, Principles of Lasers, 4th edition. Springer, 1998. This is a good all-round book about lasers.

  • Femtosecond Laser Pulses: Principles and Experiments by Claude Rulliere (ed.) helped me a lot during the writing on my master thesis on femtosecond pulsed lasers.


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