At the conclusion of this course students will be familiar with the basic science behind the laser. They will be able to design a laser that meets typical criteria and understand how a basic laser system is modified to achieve high spectral purity, short pulse operation, or high-energy output. Along the way students will acquire a better understanding of the interaction of light and matter and of optics.
There will be a strong emphasis on typical calculations encountered when designing or using a laser, such as, "Is this transition saturated?" or "Can I get good energy transfer using a stable cavity?". A good exploration of laser operation requires numerical integration, so a small number of homework problems will be aimed at that. Prior knowledge of numerical technique is not required and a basic knowledge of Excel is sufficient, although students are certainly free to use more advanced software.
(Most topics are covered carefully, some are survey level.)
1)
Absorption and emission of radiation.
2) Ray and wave propagation.
3) The laser cavity.
4) Pumping.
5) Continuous wave laser operation.
6) Q-switching (high energy pulse generation) and
mode-locking (short pulse operation).
7) Laser types (solid state lasers, dye lasers, gas
lasers).
8) Monochromaticity, coherence and directionality.
9) Amplification.
Lecturer: |
Prof. Douglass Schumacher |
Time: |
Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 - 5:18. |
Location: |
Caldwell Lab 0133 |
Assessment: |
Homework problems. |
Text: |
Principles of Lasers, 5th Ed.
by Orazio Svelto. |
Prerequisites – A basic knowledge of electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics and mathematics is assumed. This course is aimed at advanced undergraduate students and graduate students. If you haven't had quantum mechanics there will be a few derivations that you won't be able to follow but, since I focus on the classical aspects of the laser, you can still do well in the course - see me first.
Students are welcome to sit in for the first week or two to see if the course suits them. After that, all students attending will be required to register.