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Laser Physics

Definition: the field of physics dealing with phenomena in lasers

German: Laserphysik

Categories: laser devices and laser physics, physical foundations


How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

URL: https://www.rp-photonics.com/laser_physics.html

Laser physics is concerned with various physical aspects of the operation of lasers, such as

A comprehensive knowledge of laser physics in addition to optics is an indispensable requirement for good laser design and laser development. For example, an understanding of laser dynamics is important for designing Q-switched lasers. Similarly, a deep knowledge of the properties of optical resonators, and of the effects which typically affect resonator modes of lasers, is essential for resonator design. Also, the development of laser sources for ultrashort pulses requires the understanding of the fundamental properties of short light pulses and their interaction with various components in a laser.


[1]A. E. Siegman, Lasers, University Science Books, Mill Valley, CA (1986)
[2]O. Svelto, Principles of Lasers, Plenum Press, New York (1998)
[3]F. Träger (editor), Handbook of Lasers and Optics, Springer, Berlin (2007)
[4]R. Paschotta, Field Guide to Lasers, SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA (2007)

See also: lasers, laser design, laser dynamics, pulse propagation modeling

Questions and Comments from Users


Laser physics seems to be a very big field. I want to pursue a Ph. D. in laser physics; how can I identify a specific area for my research?

The author's answer:

That's an important and difficult question. You may consider many aspects for such a decision:

  • Did you come across interesting papers, where you feel you would be motivated to intensively work on such things?
  • Have you already got some expertise which makes it easier to get a corresponding position? However, it can also be advantageous to move to other subject areas in order to broaden your experience.
  • Importantly, you need a position where there are good opportunities to work in a certain direction – for example, colleagues from which you can learn a lot, required infrastructure, etc. You may first want to identify interesting institutes and ask people working there for suggestions concerning topics. That is usually more realistic than first deciding for a subject and then searching for a suitable position.
  • Also consider how you may profit later on from the gained experience. For example, would it be suitable as a start of an interesting career as a researcher, or sufficiently practical for later getting an industry job, or even for both directions?

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