preview

Analysis of Laser Technology

Powerful Essays
Laser Technology

Abstract: A laser is a electron device that produces a very narrow, powerful beam of light. The essential components of a laser include an active medium, an energy source, and an optical cavity. The optical cavity itself is enclosed by the resonator which has a mirror at each end. The energy that is put into the laser causes the atoms of the active medium to be excited to a higher energy level. When these atoms relax back down to their ground level they emit photons, which is part of a chain reaction that may cause other atoms to go through the same energy transitions resulting in light that becomes so intense that part of it exits through one of the mirrors as a very strong beam, known as a laser.

The practical uses of lasers are enormous. One of there biggest uses is that they have been used to read and write information on compact discs. Their revolutionary use in the fields of fiber optics communication and medicine are also worth noting.

A laser is a device that produces a very narrow, powerful beam of light. The term laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (Hecht 1982). In addition to being intense and narrow, laser beams are coherent, meaning that all of the light waves come out all lined up with one another and are of only one color. In a way a laser can be thought of as a superflashlight.

The ability to focus laser light so precisely makes it extremely powerful. For example, some beams can pierce a diamond, the hardest natural substance known to man, while others can trigger a small nuclear reaction. A laser bean can also be transmitted over long distances with no loss of power. Lasers also vary greatly in size. One is al...

... middle of paper ...

...d material as the active medium. Substances made of crystals or glass are generally used. Semiconductor lasers, which use semiconductors, which are materials that conduct electricity but do not conduct as well as copper or iron for example which are true conductors. Gas lasers, which use a gas or mixture of gases in a tube as the active medium, and dye lasers use a dye as the active medium (O'Shea).

Bibliography

Hecht, Jeff. Laser: Supertool of the 1980s. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1982.

Hecht, Jeff. Understanding Lasers: An Entry- Level Guide. 2nd ed. New York: IEEE Press, 1993.

Laurence, Clifford. The Laser Book: A New Technology of Light. New York: Prentice Hall, 1986.

O'Shea, Donald. "Laser." World Book Encyclopedia. 1995 ed.

Whinnery, John. Lasers: Invention to Application. New York: National Academy Press, 1987.
Get Access