Exploring Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission in Lasers©
Michael A. Waxman
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Superior, WI 54880-2898
United States
mail to: Mvaksman@STAFF.UWSUPER.EDU

The goal of this document is to demonstrate the main principles of laser generation. In the document students will explore how laser power depends upon the amplification of the active medium or the reflectivity of the cavity mirrors. To help the students grasp the answer, they will solve a simple problem on the time dependency of radiation inside the laser cavity. Students are expected to find and analyze the solution by doing both analytical and numerical calculations using Mathcad. Students will then discuss the limitations of the simple model used here and the be guided to a path for the thorough analysis of this topic. This Mathcad document provides a brief introduction to the principles of laser operation. Instructors can easily build more complex discussions of the topic after students complete this exercise. Mathcad 6 or higher required for using this document.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Lasers, Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
Laser.nb JCE Mathematica Computational Document Mathematica
Laser_nb.pdf Read-Only Document for Mathematica
laser.PDF Read-Only Document for Mathcad
laser.mcd JCE Mathcad Computational Document Mathcad 6
Notes.doc Instructor Notes
notes.pdf Instructor Notes
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Waxman, M. J. J. Chem. Educ. 2001, 78, 271.
Comments to: mwaxman@uwsuper.edu
©Copyright 2001 Journal of Chemical Education