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.
This course is primarily
aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are using or
anticipate using lasers in a research environment. Emphasis is placed on obtaining a strong
physical understanding of the principles of lasers and their applications.
Math
The assumed mathematical background for the course is calculus with a bit of
differential equations and matrix algebra.
Prerequisites
Some 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.
Text
Typical texts used for this
course include Yariv's Quantum Electronics and Principles of Photonics by Saleh
and Teich.
Coursework
Coursework typically includes:

Homework assignments

Two hour exams

A research paper
Recent instructors
Lawler, Anderson, Walker
