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Laser: Fundamentals and Applications

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and NPTEL via Swayam

Overview

A Laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. Because of its extremely high degree of monochromaticity, coherence, directionality, polarization, and power, etc., laser radiation or light has been widely used in high resolution spectroscopy and imaging, chemistry, optical communications, biomedicine, defense industries, etc. This course is intended for students who need to understand the basic principles of how lasers work and their main properties. This course provides the students a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of lasers: their unique properties, their operations and their applications. It will equip the students with the knowledge of how a coherent light is generated and amplified, the techniques behind different lasers’ design, and applications of lasers in spectroscopy, chemistry, medicine, biology, military and other areas.

INTENDED AUDIENCE :Senior UG and PG students

PREREQUISITES :Basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and optics would be helpful

Syllabus

COURSE LAYOUT

Week 1: Introduction; Importance: why laser?, unique properties of lasers; Brief history of laser development ; Laser basicsWeek 2: Concept of stimulated emission; Einstein’s coefficients; Population inversion; Amplification of stimulated emission; Laser instrumentation fundamentals: Cavity, resonator and pumping processes; Gain mediumWeek 3: Coherent radiation, standing waves and modes; The kinetics of laser emission; Rate equations; Threshold conditions; Pulsed and continuous wave laser emission; Various pulsing techniques: cavity dumping, Q-switching and mode-lockingWeek 4: Transitions, lifetimes and linewidths: Three level laser, Four-level laser, emission linewidth; Properties of laser light: monochromaticity, spatial and temporal coherence, intensity, beam-width Similarity transforms,Week 5: Laser sources; different types of lasers; Laser instrumentation detailsWeek 6: Applications of lasers in spectroscopy, chemistry, biology, medical sciences and other fieldsWeek 7: Applications of lasers in spectroscopy, chemistry, biology, medical sciences and other fieldsWeek 8: Applications of lasers in spectroscopy, chemistry, biology, medical sciences and other fields Summary of the course

Taught by

Prof. Manabendra Chandra

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