1 Basic Laser Processes

In the course of developing models to predict laser performance, which is the focus of this text, we often need to start at the beginning. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to provide a basic overview of processes and parameters relevant to the laser. Some readers may already be familiar with many of these concepts but may not have seen them applied specifically to laser systems.

Key concepts outlined in this chapter include an atomic view of the laser processes of emission and absorption (including the important process of stimulated emission), a basic overview of rate equations involved in various laser levels (which will be useful when developing models later), methods of pumping a laser amplifier, and the nature ...

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