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LASERS SIMPLIFIED

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2005
05PS9_3.jpgIntended for nonscience majors who are taking courses in general science, physics, optics, technology or electrical engineering, the book Is There a Laser in the House? Understanding Your High-Tech Everyday World uses common devices and natural phenomena as examples to explain underlying physical principles with a minimal amount of mathematics. Concepts presented include coherence, wave properties, the wave-particle dual nature of light, spontaneous and stimulated emission (to explain how lasers work), and the differences between a laser and a lightbulb, in layman’s terms. The 96-page resource discusses MRI, holograms, semiconductors, CD and DVD players, the electromagnetic spectrum, fiber optics and digital communications, and rainbows, mirages, blue skies and other optical effects. Amy E. Bieber; Pearson Custom Publishing, Boston, 2005; $30.


GLOSSARY
light
Electromagnetic radiation detectable by the eye, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 750 nm. In photonic applications light can be considered to cover the nonvisible portion of the spectrum which includes the ultraviolet and the infrared.
spontaneous emission
Radiation emitted when a quantum mechanical system drops spontaneously from an excited level to a lower level. This radiation is emitted according to the laws of probability without regard to the simultaneous presence of similar radiation. The rate of spontaneous emission is proportional to the Einstein "A" coefficient and is inversely proportional to the radiative lifetime.
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