Physics 546: Lasers
This course is an introduction to the physics of lasers, and applications of lasers to science and technology.
Topics covered include:
- Principles of laser operation
- Laser oscillation conditions
- Optical resonators
- Different types of lasers (in particular semiconductor lasers)
- Gaussian beam propagation
- Optical fibers
- Frequency doubling
- Detectors are also studied
- Methods of laser spectroscopy.
MathThe assumed mathematical background for the course is calculus with a bit of differential equations and matrix algebra.
PrerequisitesSome familiarity with electromagnetic fields is assumed, though much of what is needed will be reviewed in the course. Also some acquaintance with the basic structure of atoms and molecules is helpful, although again most of the needed material will be reviewed. A basic understanding of quantum mechanics is assumed, being necessary to understand the interaction between laser light and various types of materials.
TextTypical texts used for this course include Yariv's Quantum Electronics and Principles of Photonics by Saleh and Teich.
CourseworkCoursework typically includes:
- Homework assignments
- Two hour exams
- A research paper