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Lasers Dictionary Terms

laser drift
Laser drift typically refers to a phenomenon where the frequency or wavelength of a laser source gradually changes over time. In the context of lasers, stability in terms of frequency or wavelength is crucial for various applications, such as in...
integram
A reflection hologram using multiple color lasers that integrates various graphical techniques to allow the display of...
picosecond pulse
A pulse having extremely short duration, about 10-13 to 10-10 s, that is produced by mode locking of wide-bandwidth lasers,...
laser spectroscopy
That part of the science involved in the study of the theory and interpretation of spectra that uses the unique...
Fresnel number
In a lens, the square of the radius of its aperture divided by the product of the focal length and the wavelength. It...
laser cavity
A laser cavity, also known as an optical cavity or resonator, is a fundamental component of a laser system. It is a confined...
transversely excited atmosphere carbon dioxide laser
Abbreviated TEA CO2 laser. A gas laser that provides shorter pulses and higher peak powers than conventional CO2 lasers. The...
fusion ignition
Fusion ignition refers to the point in a controlled nuclear fusion reaction where the energy released by the fusion...
mode beating
In optics, "mode beating" refers to an interference phenomenon that can occur in laser systems with multiple longitudinal...
optical coatings
Optical coatings are thin layers of materials applied to optical components, such as lenses, mirrors, filters, and prisms,...
isolator
In the context of electronics and optics, an isolator refers to a device that allows the transmission of signals in one...
mode sweeping
A form of laser output noise that is caused by thermal, mechanical, or acoustical disturbances of the cavity length. Mode...
tissue optics
The study of the optical properties of living tissue. Increased understanding of the behavior of light in this varied,...
nanophotonics
Nanophotonics is a branch of science and technology that explores the behavior of light on the nanometer scale, typically at...
stereolithography
A method of creating real three-dimensional models by using lasers driven by CAD software. In contrast to the normal...
distributed feedback laser
A distributed feedback laser (DFB laser) is a type of semiconductor laser diode designed to emit coherent, narrow-bandwidth...
laser damage threshold
The laser damage threshold refers to the maximum level of laser intensity that a material can withstand without experiencing...
repetitively pulsed laser
A pulsed laser that emits a recurring pulsed output. Frequency of the pulses emitted is known as pulsed recurrence frequency...
beam shaper
A beam shaper is an optical device or system designed to modify the spatial profile or intensity distribution of a laser or...
isotopically selected laser spectroscopy
A spectroscopic technique in which an excitation band absorbs laser energy resulting in an electronic transition. The...
photodynamic therapy
A medical technology that uses lasers or other light sources in combination with photosensitizing drugs to treat cancerous...
distributed Bragg reflector
A device similar to distributed feedback lasers in construction and operation, but in which the period grating that produces...
free-space optics
Free-space optics (FSO), also known as optical wireless communication or optical wireless networking, refers to the...
III-V material
In semiconductor physics and materials science, the term "III-V materials" refers to compounds composed of elements from...
diffraction grating
A diffraction grating is an optical component consisting of a surface with a periodic structure of equally spaced, parallel...
exciton
An exciton is a quasiparticle that represents the bound state of an electron and a hole in a solid-state material, typically...
neodymium glass
Glass containing small quantities of neodymium oxide that is used as a filter plate in color television or as a lasing...
optical nonlinearity
The phenomenon that makes nonlinear the mathematical expression for the electrical polarization of a medium through which...
photobiomodulation
A light therapy that utilizes nonionizing light sources, including lasers, LEDs, and broadband light, in the visible and...
indium phosphide
Indium phosphide (InP) is a compound semiconductor material composed of indium (In) and phosphorus (P). It belongs to the...
cold atom
Cold atoms refer to atoms that have been cooled to extremely low temperatures, typically in the microkelvin (µK) to...
laser active elements
Laser active elements typically refers to the substances or materials within a laser system that play a critical role in the...
divergence
1. In optics, the bending of rays away from each other. 2. In lasers, the spreading of a laser beam with increased distance...
injection locking
The use of two lasers as a master-slave pair in order to control frequency and prevent chirp. When light from the master is...
free-electron laser
A free-electron laser (FEL) is a type of laser that generates coherent, high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by using a...
rare earth dopants
Rare earth dopants refer to elements from the lanthanide series, also known as rare earth elements, that are intentionally...
Fabry-Perot cavity
An optical resonator in which feedback is accomplished by two parallel planes. In diode lasers, the planes are obtained by...
indium
Metal used in components of the crystalline semiconductor alloys indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), indium gallium arsenide...
lattice
In photonics, a lattice refers to a periodic arrangement of optical elements or structures, often on a microscopic or...
optics
Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter...
laserstrobe
A stroboscopelike apparatus that uses a copper vapor laser to illuminate an object for very short time periods (about 30 ns).
photonic computer
A type of computer in which the electronic circuits, which process data serially, are replaced by photonic circuits capable...
holmium laser
Holmium lasers are a type of medical laser that utilizes holmium-doped crystals as the gain medium. The term holmium laser...
picosecond spectroscopy
A method of measuring complex sequential photosynthetic reactions by varying the pulse time and wavelength of light...
gallium arsenide phosphide
Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) is a semiconductor alloy composed of gallium (Ga), arsenic (As), and phosphorus (P). It...
optical table
An optical table, also known as an optical bench or an optical breadboard, is a specialized platform used in optics...
GaN distributed feedback lasers
GaN (Gallium Nitride) distributed feedback (DFB) lasers refer to a specific type of semiconductor laser based on Gallium...
gallium aluminum arsenide
A crystalline semiconductor alloy used as the light confinement layer in both single- and double-heterostructure diode...
diode laser
A diode laser is a type of laser that uses a semiconductor diode as the active medium to generate coherent light....
etalon
An etalon is an optical device that consists of two parallel reflecting surfaces separated by a precise and known distance....
diode-pumped solid-state laser
A diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) is a type of laser system that uses semiconductor diode lasers to pump energy into...
pulsed-dye laser
A laser with a gain medium consisting of an organic dye, which is carbon-based. The dye is mixed with a solvent, allowing...
resonator
A resonator is a device or system that exhibits resonance, which is a phenomenon that occurs when an external force or...
whispering gallery mode
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) refers to a phenomenon in wave physics, particularly in optics, where waves, such as light or...
medical lasers
Medical lasers are devices that produce intense beams of light with specific characteristics and properties, which are used...
recombination radiation
The radiation emitted in semiconductors when electrons in the conduction band recombine with holes in the valence band. If...
frequency summing
A technique used in holography that involves the mixing of lasers of different wavelengths to produce a beam of shorter...
laser peening
Laser peening is a surface enhancement technique used to improve the mechanical properties of materials, particularly...
blue diode laser
A blue diode laser is a type of semiconductor laser that emits light in the blue wavelength range of the electromagnetic...
flow cytometry
Flow cytometry is a powerful technique used in biology and medicine for the quantitative analysis of the physical and...
Er:YAG laser
An Er:YAG laser is a type of solid-state laser that uses a crystal made of erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet...
gallium antimonide
A binary semiconductor compound used as a substrate or active layer for diode lasers.
nanopositioning
Nanopositioning refers to the precise and controlled movement or manipulation of objects or components at the nanometer...
laser controlled area
Area in which laser operation occurs and therefore safety requirements are met and regulations are implemented. Lasers...
aversion response
Eye blink or head movement in response to bright light. Aversion responses such as blinking are sufficient protection from...
spectral flow cytometry
Spectral flow cytometry is an advanced flow cytometry technique that expands the capabilities of traditional flow cytometry...
laser trimming
The use of lasers in tailoring of such components as thin-film resistors. The process improves speed and accuracy.
dye laser
A laser using a dye solution as its active medium. Its output is a short pulse of broad spectral content and its achievable...
microscopy
Microscopy is a scientific technique that involves the use of microscopes to observe and study objects that are too small to...
ultrafast laser
An ultrafast laser is a type of laser that emits extremely short pulses of light with durations typically on the order of...
quantum well
A quantum well is a structure in quantum mechanics that confines particles, such as electrons or holes, in one spatial...
laser surgery
Laser surgery refers to a medical procedure in which a laser, or focused beam of light, is used as a precision tool to cut,...
excimer laser
An excimer laser is a type of ultraviolet laser that emits short pulses of light in the ultraviolet spectrum. The term...
transverse mode
In the context of optics and lasers, a transverse mode refers to a specific spatial pattern of the electric field within the...
double-clad fiber
Double-clad fiber (DCF) is a specialized optical fiber that features two concentric cladding layers surrounding a core. The...
gain-switching
Gain-switching is a technique used in lasers to generate short pulses of light by modulating the gain of the laser medium....
q-switched operation
Q-switched operation, or q-switching, is a technique used in lasers to produce short and intense pulses of light. The term...
photoconductive antenna
Photoconductive antenna (PCA) is a semiconductor element that generates or detects high-frequency electromagnetic signals....
pulse compression
A means of achieving higher peak powers and more efficient harmonic generation by narrowing the pulse width and thus...
time-averaged holography
Although low in sensitivity (approximately 10-7 m for helium-neon lasers), this holographic technique permits quantitative...
photonic integrated circuit
A photonic integrated circuit (PIC) is a compact and integrated device that incorporates multiple photonic components and...
mode-locked lasers
Mode-locking is a technique used in lasers to produce ultrashort pulses of light with durations on the order of picoseconds,...
photonic cavity
A photonic cavity, also known as an optical cavity, is a structure that confines electromagnetic radiation within a certain...
gas laser
One of the first lasers to find practical application. Generally, the pumping mechanism is an electric discharge, although...
mode hopping
Mode hopping in the context of lasers refers to a phenomenon where a laser system abruptly switches from one longitudinal...
multiple laser sequence
Also known as gatling gun laser. A system that has an array of lasers sharing a common central axis on a rotating Fabry...
laser output
The laser output refers to the generated and emitted light produced by a laser system. This output is characterized by...
fiber Bragg grating
A fiber Bragg grating (FBG) is a type of optical filter that is inscribed or "written" into the core of an optical fiber. It...
scribing
The process of perforating a silicon or ceramic substrate with a series of tiny holes along which it will break. Nd:YAG or...
confocal resonator
A confocal resonator, also known as a confocal cavity or confocal laser resonator, is a type of optical resonator...
pyroelectric infrared detector
Unlike the thermocouple or bolometer, the pyroelectric infrared detector is a current source with an output proportional to...
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The...
quantum cascade laser
A quantum cascade laser (QCL) is a type of semiconductor laser that operates based on the principles of quantum mechanics....
uniformly redundant array
Array used in coded-aperture imaging experiments with two-beam CO2 lasers that provide an artifact-free process, faithful...
GaAIAs laser
A GaAlAs laser is a type of semiconductor laser diode that emits light in the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic...
excitation
1. The process by which an atom acquires energy sufficient to raise it to a quantum state higher than its ground state. 2....
vanadate laser
Lasers based on neodymium-doped yttrium or gadolinium vanadate crystals. These include yttrium vanadate (Nd:YVO4),...
directed energy
Directed energy refers to a type of energy that is emitted and transferred in a controlled direction. The term is often...
dBm
Decibels referenced to one milliwatt; often used to specify power ratings for semiconductor diode lasers.
integrated photonics
Integrated photonics is a field of study and technology that involves the integration of optical components, such as lasers,...
fiber laser
A fiber laser is a type of laser in which the active gain medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth ions such as...
photonic crystals
Photonic crystals are artificial structures or materials designed to manipulate and control the flow of light in a manner...
alexandrite lasers
An alexandrite laser is a solid-state laser that utilizes a synthetic crystal made from the rare earth element alexandrite...
impurity level
In the context of optical materials, the term "impurity level" refers to the presence of foreign atoms or molecules within...
optoacoustic
Optoacoustic, or photoacoustic, refers to a phenomenon and related techniques that involve the generation of acoustic waves...
continuous wave
Continuous wave (CW) refers to a type of signal or transmission where the signal is constant and does not vary with time. In...
temporal coherence
A characteristic of laser output, calculated by dividing the speed of light by the linewidth of the laser beam. The temporal...
laser
A laser, which stands for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," is a device that produces coherent and...
Brewster angle window
A parallel plate of glass in such a position that the refracted and reflected rays of incident parallel light are mutually...
femtosecond laser
A femtosecond laser is a type of laser that emits ultrashort pulses of light with durations on the order of femtoseconds,...
axial gradient technology
A method of designing lasers whereby the laser rod is cut into elliptical discs and cooled by running water over the disc...
xenon flashtube
A high-intensity source of incoherent white light in which a capacitor is discharged through a tube of xenon gas; often used...
color center laser
Certain color centers in the alkali halides have been optically pumped to produce efficient tunable pulsed and...
frequency comb
A frequency comb is a precise and regular series of equally spaced spectral lines, or frequencies, that are generated with...
laser marking
Laser marking is a process in which a laser beam is used to mark or engrave a surface by altering its properties or...
metal vapor laser
Devices in which the lasing medium is a vapor of metal atoms or ions, sometimes mixed with another gas. Metal vapor lasers...
solid-state laser
A solid-state laser is a type of laser that uses a solid gain medium (as opposed to a liquid or gas) to produce coherent...
inertial confinement fusion
Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is a method of achieving nuclear fusion, a process where two atomic nuclei combine to...
scintillation
1. The variation in intensity of a light beam as it travels through the atmosphere. 2. In radiation physics, a light flash...
light source
The generic term applied to all sources of visible radiation from burning matter to ionized vapors and lasers, regardless of...
swept-source laser
A swept-source laser, also known as a wavelength-swept laser, is a type of laser that rapidly and continuously changes its...
stibine gas
The purest gas source of antimony, which is used in the manufacture of compound semiconductors for IR sensors and...
nonlinear optics
Nonlinear optics is a branch of optics that studies the optical phenomena that occur when intense light interacts with a...
Fabry-Perot laser
A laser oscillator in which two mirrors are separated by an amplifying medium with an inverted population, making a...
pyroelectric pulse detector
A current-source thermal detector used to detect and study the pulses obtained from particular lasers.
embedded laser
The term "embedded laser" typically refers to a laser device that is integrated or embedded into a larger system or...
laser-mediated gene transfer
Laser-mediated gene transfer refers to a technique in molecular biology and genetic engineering that utilizes lasers to...

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