In laser physics, the term laser oscillator is sometimes used for a laser device in order to distinguish it explicitly from an optical amplifier, where there is amplification by stimulated emission but no laser oscillation – or from an oscillator–amplifier combination.
A laser can be considered as a high-frequency optical oscillator (with optical frequencies normally be of the order of hundreds of terahertz) which consists of an optical amplifier and a resonator for optical feedback.
Similarly, an optical parametric oscillator is a device containing an optical parametric amplifier within an optical resonator. In contrast to a laser oscillator, one utilizes a kind of nonlinear amplification.
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