Introduction To Lasers

Douglass Schumacher
Phone: 292-7035
Office: 4180, Physics Research Building.
Office hours: By appointment.

Physics 780.20, Section 0030-SEM(21635)
MW @ 3:30 - 5:18
Caldwell Lab 0133

Text: Principles of Lasers, 5th Ed. by Orazio Svelto

Jump Station

Information on this page: Announcements Homework Applets Links
Other pages: Book
Course Announcement Laser Facilities


January 4. First day of class.
January 5. Lecture notes section created. Go download the notes for next Monday's lecture (starting on page 17).

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Lecture notes
Lecture Notes 2/22 p104 laser-output
1/9 p17 - 22a 2/27 p110 survey 1: output coupling, NLO, spectrum, Q-Switching
1/18  p31 (degenerate states)
p33-37 (saturation)
2/29 p134 modelocking
1/23 p38-45 (matrix optics) 3/5 p145 coherence
1/30 p47-54_gaussian 3/7 short FEL discussion
2/1 p55-63_cavity    
2/6 p64-73_cavity    
2/8 cavity recap and hw1.5    
2/13 p76 stability against perturbations    
2/20 p98 laser operation    

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Homework (solutions in pdf format)

#1 Assignment solution
#2 Assignment solution
#3  Assignment      Excel Sheet solution
#4 Assignment solution
#5 Assignment       solution
#6 Assignment solution
#7  Assignment solution

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Applets From Various Sites

Basic Laser Concepts
(Many of these are from this site.)

Gaussian Modes Illustrated Computer generated idealized case, as opposed to the handout I gave you.
Cavity Mode Shows your location in the stability diagram as you modify cavity parameters. Find a configuration that gives you a large mode everywhere. Try other variations.
Laser dynamics You select the pump/loss/decay parameters and it solves the rate equations. Excellent for understanding self-Q-switching, transient response, and the approach to steady-state.

Ultrashort Pulse Laser concepts

Fourier Synthesis Uses your speakers so you can hear the result.
Movies  There are a couple movies at this site near the bottom of the page. Probably not anything you don't already understand (after taking this course), but satisfying to watch anyway.
Group velocity and phase velocity Simple illustration of how a wave looks when differing speeds are used. Try it at the highest frequency and follow the motion near the node in the envelope function.
Group Velocity Demonstration Allows you to superpose two arbitrary waves specified using C-like syntax.

Other concepts

Fermat's Principle Illustrated for reflection and refraction.
Subluminal Illustrates how a pulse can appear to propagate faster than light. (The author should have named it "superluminal" I suppose.) I like this one.

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Links (under construction...)

Societies Journals Sites w/ Relevant Content Lasers Articles  Laser Tutorials For the Hobbyist A Few Laser Companies


OSA -- Optical Society of America
IEEE -- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
SPIE -- The International Society for Optical Engineering

Journals (for the topics covered in class, my favorites are Optics Letters, JOSA B, and IEEE JQE)

OSA Online Journals   Applied Optics, JOSA A, JOSA B, Optics Express, and Optics Letters.
IEEE Journal Of Quantum Electronics
Optics and Photonics News
Laser Focus World
The Industrial Physicist (American Institute of Physics) often has articles of importance to lasers and optics.

Sites With Content On Advanced Topics Used In Many OSU Laser Labs (especially ultra fast lasers) -
* Indicates the site is a link list.

Why You Need Chirped Pulse Amplification
Chirped Pulse Amplification
St. Andrews Ultrashort Pulse Laser Tutorial
Trebino's FROG site
* OpticsNotes

Sites About Lasers and Laser Science -
Not closely related to class, but might be of interest.
* Indicates the site is a link list.

Free electron laser at UCSB
 X-Ray Laser
* Quantum Optics and Atom Optics

Articles -
This is a new section. I'll place a few, selected articles that might help the student who is looking for the next step beyond class.

Science magazine has a special issue on coherence. See it here.

Laser Tutorials

Rami Arieli - The Laser Adventure - extensive, with discussion of a variety of applications.

For The Hobbyist (yes, there is a large community that enjoys building its own lasers)

The Homebuilt Lasers Page
The Laser, Optics and Holography Ring

Laser Companies (Just a few that are likely to be in your labs.)

Coherent, Inc.

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