Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201300139
Laser Physics
Course infoSchedule
Course module201300139
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact personprof.dr. K.J. Boller
prof.dr. K.J. Boller
Contactperson for the course
prof.dr. K.J. Boller
P.J.M. van der Slot
Academic year2021
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
  • The goal of the course is to provide a fundamental understanding of the physics of lasers.
  • At the end of the course, you can explain the physical concepts of the various topics addressed in this course to peers.
This course treats the main physical aspects of a very important light source, the laser. The course starts with an introduction to the the principles of laser operation and a brief description of some basic classical and quantum properties of atoms, molecules and semiconductors. We briefly recap Gaussian beams and Fabry-Perot resonators that are typically used in laser oscillators. We then continue with the classical Lorentz oscillator to describe the origin of absorption, emission, of the refractive index and spectral line broadening and its consequences for laser oscillation. We describe how to use rate equations for occupancy of atomic levels and photons to describe optical gain, the laser threshold, gain saturation, spectral and spatial hole burning, how to achieve mode selection and the fundamental lower limit for the spectral bandwidth of lasers. For selection of the optical phase of lasers, injection locking will be treated. These continuous-wave and steady-state equilibrium descriptions will then be expanded towards dynamical properties and effects in lasers, such as spiking and relaxation oscillations. To explain the generation of light pulses with high energy, the technique of Q-switching will be treated. To explain the generation of light pulses with ultrashort duration (e.g. in the femtosecond range), we describe mode-locking of lasers. During the course we will give specific technological examples of certain types of lasers, e.g, from the class of gas lasers, solid state lasers and semiconductor lasers.
Assumed previous knowledge
Bachelor Optics course (B2) strongly recommended
Master Wave Optics course (Q1) strongly recommended
Participating study
Master Applied Physics
Required materials
Recommended materials
The course will be based on the book "Laser Physics" by Peter W. Milonni and Joseph H. Eberly, ISBN 978-0-470-38771-9
More information can be found in Fundamentals of Photonics by B.A.E. Saleh & M.C.Teich that is available as an ebook in the UT library (use FindUT at the service portal of the University Library to find the book). Concurrent access is allowed.
Course material
The book "Principles of Lasers, O. Svelto, 45th edition, Springer New York 1998 2010 can be used as background material for comparison with the main book
Course material
Further course materials (lecture slides and assignments) will be made available via canvas.
Instructional modes

Sterk aanbevolen
Tutorial, partly lecture

Sterk aanbevolen
Test 0

Kies de Nederlandse taal