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Technical consulting services on lasers, nonlinear optics, fiber optics etc.
Profit from the knowledge and experience of a top expert!
Powerful simulation and design software.
Make computer models in order to get a comprehensive understanding of your devices!
Success comes from understanding – be it in science or in industrial development.
The famous Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology – available online for free!
The ideal place for finding suppliers for many photonics products.
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… combined with a great Buyer's Guide!
VLib part of the

The Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

the print version of the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

If you like this resource, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

Get started: Below the menu, you find the lists of all articles with given first letters A to Z. Or search by keyword with the field below.

This comprehensive open-access encyclopedia, authored by and provided by RP Photonics Consulting GmbH, explains the physical principles and common techniques in laser technology, while also covering major areas of fiber-optic technology and nonlinear optics, and addressing supplementary topics like ultrashort pulses, optical communications, general optics, optoelectronics, and quantum optics. It contains 643 full articles, not just definitions as in a dictionary or a glossary. Many references to selected scientific articles and textbooks aid further studies. Substantial work has been invested to provide all information with textbook quality. With this work, RP Photonics provides a much appreciated service to both the photonics industry and the academic community.

The encyclopedia is freely accessible via this website. Simply click on one of the letters in the table above in order to display the keywords beginning with that letter. For conveniently finding this resource again, please bookmark the page in your browser.

The encyclopedia is also available as a two-volume book, published via Wiley-VCH. The print version has a carefully designed layout and can be considered a must-have for any institute library, laser research group, or laser company. See also our video on the encyclopedia.

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta, the author of the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

Since mid 2012, the encyclopedia is intimately linked with the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide.

, the author of the encyclopedia, offers a broad range of consulting services in topical areas like lasers, amplifiers, nonlinear optics and fiber optics via his company RP Photonics Consulting GmbH. Utilize his competence for your development projects! Also, you may be interested in the simulation software which he has developed.

Related Pages

Besides the encyclopedia articles, there are related pages, which you can reach via the menu on the top of this page:

Examples for Available Articles in Various Topical Areas

Here you can get an overview on the topics which are covered by this encyclopedia. More …

  • Lasers and amplifiers: laser design and development, laser resonators, laser and amplifier noise, erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, broad area laser diodes, fiber-coupled diode lasers, diode-pumped lasers, fiber lasers and amplifiers, power scaling, distributed feedback lasers, upconversion, gain media, amplified spontaneous emission, beam pointing fluctuations, single-frequency operation, spatial hole burning, relaxation oscillations, red, green and blue lasers, cryogenic lasers, laser modeling, beam quality, laser safety, laser specifications
  • Nonlinear optics: nonlinear crystal materials, intracavity or resonant frequency doubling, sum and difference frequency generation, optical parametric oscillators, parametric generators and amplifiers, Brillouin and Raman scattering, self- and cross-phase modulation, four-wave mixing, quasi-phase matching
  • Fiber optics: high power fiber lasers and amplifiers, Raman amplifiers, single-mode and multi-mode fibers, rare-earth-doped fibers, double-clad fibers, dispersion-shifted fibers, photonic crystal fibers, fiber Bragg gratings, adiabatic soliton compression, nonlinear polarization rotation
  • Optical pulses: bandwidth-limited pulses, parabolic pulses, mode-locked lasers, additive-pulse mode locking, regenerative amplifiers, chirped-pulse amplification, transform limit, time–bandwidth product, frequency combs, timing jitter, pulse duration measurements, Kelly sidebands, parabolic pulses, Q-switched lasers
  • Optical devices and optoelectronics: interferometers, Bragg mirrors, beam shapers, optical filters, avalanche photodiodes, light-emitting diodes, superluminescent diodes, electro-optic modulators, acousto-optic modulators, optical tweezers, arrayed waveguide gratings, integrating spheres, mode cleaner cavities, Lyot filters, integrated optics, silicon photonics
  • Optical communications: optical fiber communications, fiber-optic links and networks, telecom windows, free-space optical communications, amplifier noise, bit error rate, bandwidth–distance product, optical modulators, photonic integrated circuits
  • Quantum optics and quantum effects: squeezed states of light, Glauber states, quantum wells, quantum dots, light forces, laser cooling, quantum noise, shot noise, Schawlow–Townes linewidth, quantum cryptography
  • Noise in optics: noise specifications, power spectral density, timing jitter, Gordon–Haus jitter, quantum noise, squeezed states of light, standard quantum limit, shot noise, relative intensity noise, phase noise, noise eaters, linewidth, stabilization of lasers
  • General optics: Kramers–Kronig relations, Fourier spectrum, Gaussian beams, Hermite–Gaussian modes, Gouy phase shift, beam quality, brightness, optical resonators, waveguide dispersion, finesse, coherence, phase velocity and group velocity, superluminal transmission and causality, optical metrology

You may also browse the articles via a list of categories.

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RP Fiber Power – the versatile Fiber Optics Software

An Amazing Tool

RP Fiber Power software

This amazing tool is extremely helpful for the development of passive and active fiber devices.


Watch our quick video tour!

Single-mode and Multi­mode Fibers


Calculate mode properties such as

  • amplitude distributions (near field and far field)
  • effective mode area
  • effective index
  • group delay and chromatic dispersion

Also calculate fiber coupling efficiencies; simulate effects of bending, nonlinear self-focusing or gain guiding on beam propagation, higher-order soliton propagation, etc.

Arbitrary Index Profiles

A fiber's index profile may be more complicated than just a circle:

special fibers

Here, we "printed" some letters, translated this into an index profile and initial optical field, propagated the light over some distance and plotted the output field – all automated with a little script code.

Fiber Couplers, Double-clad Fibers, Multicore Fibers, …

fiber devices

Simulate pump absorption in double-clad fibers, study beam propagation in fiber couplers, light propagation in tapered fibers, analyze the impact of bending, cross-saturation effects in amplifiers, leaky modes, etc.

Fiber Amplifiers

fiber amplifier

For example, calculate

  • gain and saturation characteristics (for continuous or pulsed operation)
  • energy transfers in erbium-ytterbium-doped amplifier fibers
  • influence of quenching effects, amplified spontaneous emission etc.

in single amplifier stages or in multi-stage amplifier systems, with double-clad fibers, etc.

Fiber-optic Telecom Systems

eye diagram

For example,

  • analyze dispersive and nonlinear signal distortions
  • investigate the impact of amplifier noise
  • optimize nonlinear management and the placement of amplifiers

Find out in detail what is going on in such a system!

Fiber Lasers

fiber laser

For example, analyze and optimize the

  • power conversion efficiency
  • wavelength tuning range
  • Q switching dynamics
  • femtosecond pulse generation with mode locking

for lasers based on double-clad fiber, with linear or ring resonator, etc.

Ultrafast Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers

fiber laser

For example, study

  • pulse formation mechanisms
  • impact of nonlinearities and chromatic dispersion
  • parabolic pulse amplification
  • feedback sensitivity
  • supercontinuum generation

Apply any sequence of elements to your pulses!

… and even Bulk Devices

regenerative amplifier

For example, study

  • Q switching dynamics
  • mode-locking behavior
  • impact of nonlinearities and chromatic dispersion
  • influence of a saturable absorber
  • chirped-pulse amplification
  • regenerative amplification

RP Fiber Power is an extremely versatile tool!

Mode Solver

fiber modes

For example, calculate

  • amplitude and intensity profiles
  • effective mode areas
  • cut-off wavelengths
  • propagation constants
  • group velocities
  • chromatic dispersion

All this is calculated with high efficiency!

Beam Propagation

beam propagation

Propagate optical field with arbitrary wavefronts through fibers. These may be asymmetric, bent, tapered, exhibit random disturbances, etc.

See our demo video for numerical beam propagation.

Laser-active Ions

level scheme

Work with the standard gain model, or define your own level scheme!

Can include different ions, energy transfers, upconversion and quenching effects, complicated pumping schemes, etc.

Multiple Pump and Signal Waves, ASE

optical channels

Define multiple pump and signal waves and many ASE channels – each one with its own transverse intensity profile, loss coefficient etc.

The power calculations are highly efficient and reliable.

Simple Use and High Flexibility Combined

For simpler tasks, use convenient forms:

signal parameters

Script code is automatically generated and can then be modified by the user. A powerful script language gives you an unparalleled flexibility!

High-quality Documentation and Competent Support

The carefully prepared comprehensive documentation includes a PDF manual and an interactive online help system.

Competent technical support is provided: the developer himself will help you and make sure that any problem is solved!

Our support is like included technical consulting.

Boost your competence, efficiency and creativity!

  • Stop fishing in the dark! Develop a clear quantitative understanding of your devices.
  • Explore the effects of possible design changes on your desk.
  • That way, get most efficient in the lab.
  • Find optimized solutions efficiently, minimizing time to market.
  • Get new ideas by playing with your models.

Efficiency and success of
R & D are not a matter of chance.

See our detailed description with many case studies!

Contact us to get a quotation!

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