Lasers and photonic techniques are used in all branches of science and technology. The principles of laser operation will be discussed, with reference to commonly used laser systems. The course provides knowledge of the laser as a fundamental tool of contemporary science and technology. The course will give a detailed and mathematical introduction to gain media, laser cavities, Gaussian beams, and their combination into many forms of laser.
Pre-requisites: PHYS2001 AND PHYS2003 AND PHYS2006 AND PHYS2023 AND PHYS2024
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- Understand how the design of a laser and the choice of the gain medium affects its output characteristics.
- Assess the properties of new laser systems based on a knowledge of their design.
- Perform quantitative calculations on the properties of cavities, beams, and gain media, and the output of simple laser systems.
- Appreciate the diversity of laser designs and applications.
- Discuss the differences between continuous & pulsed laser systems, and the uses of both.
- Properties of coherent light: temporal and spatial coherence, beam propagation
- Interaction of light and matter: spontaneous & stimulated emission, cross-sections & rate equations
- Gaussian beam optics, optical resonators, cavity stability
- Generation of coherent light: energy storage, resonator modes, laser threshold
- Laser dynamics: steady state and transient behaviour, relaxation oscillations, Q-switching, mode locking
- Practical laser systems: HeNe, Nd:YAG, Ti:sapphire, diodes, fibre lasers
- Narrow line width lasers
- Ultra fast lasers, properties of ultra fast pulses, X-ray and attosecond pulses
Learning and Teaching
|Wider reading or practice||27|
|Completion of assessment task||123|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Anthony E Siegman (31533). Lasers. University Science Books.
Orazio Svelto. Principles of Lasers. Plenum.
William T Silfvast. Laser Fundamentals. Cambridge University Press.
Eugene Hecht. Optics. Addison Wesley.
Summative assessment description
Referral assessment description
Repeat assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External