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PH30032: Laser physics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2019/0
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take PH20013 OR take PH20060 ) AND ( take PH20014 OR take PH20061 ) AND ( take PH20020 OR take MA20223 OR take PH20107 )
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to provide the theoretical background for what is required for laser action and then to show how this is achieved in real lasers.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* understand how light interacts with atoms in excited states, and how this can lead to stimulated emission and lasing.
* theoretically design simple laser resonators.
* analyse continuous and pulsed lasers and discuss how laser pulses are formed.
* compare the properties of different materials for use in practical lasers.

Skills:
Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Content:
Interaction of light with matter (2 hours): Introduction, absorption, spontaneous and stimulated emission; lineshape and broadening mechanisms, gain and population inversion.
Conditions for oscillation (2 hours): Gain in 3 and 4 level systems, gain saturation, introduction to laser cavities, lasing threshold, output power in lasers above threshold, gain clamping, laser efficiency.
Optical beams and resonators (5 hours): Ray vectors and matrices, spherical waves, Gaussian beams. Rayleigh length, beam waist, phase front curvature. Resonators with parallel or curved mirrors; stability criterion. Optical modes in resonators, cavity Q factor and lifetime.
Types of gain medium (6 hours): Examples of specific lasers and pumping mechanisms: gas, dye, solid state, semiconductor and fibre lasers.
Pulsed lasers (5 hours): Q-switching. Modelocking; time-bandwidth product for pulses. Examples of pulsed lasers. Dispersion; Pulse spreading caused by group velocity dispersion, frequency chirp.
Frequency conversion (2 hours): second-harmonic generation, phase-matching.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30032 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 4)

Notes: