Who Invented Laser? Types, Applications

Based on theoretical work by Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow, Theodore H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories created the first laser in 1960.

A laser is a device that induces light emission at specific wavelengths from atoms or molecules and magnifies that light, usually creating a very narrow beam of radiation.

The emission covers only a very small spectrum of visible, infrared, or ultraviolet wavelengths.

Lasers have been developed in various forms with a wide range of properties. “Light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation” is called laser.

History of laser

The laser is a development of Albert Einstein’s 1916 hypothesis that, under the right conditions, atoms may spontaneously or release excess energy as light in response to light stimulation.

Rudolf Walther Ladenburg, a German scientist, made the first observation of stimulated emission in 1928, albeit it didn’t appear to have any application at the time.

Charles H. Townes came up with the idea to produce stimulated emission at microwave frequencies in 1951 while studying at Columbia University in New York City.

He showed a functioning apparatus concentrating “excited” (see below Energy levels and stimulated emissions) ammonia molecules in a resonant microwave cavity. They released a pure microwave frequency at the end of 1953.

When one or more of an atom’s electrons have absorbed energy, they can move to outer orbits, and the atom is then referred to as being “excited.”

Excited states are generally unstable; as electrons drop from higher-energy to lower-energy levels, they emit extra energy as light.

Energy Availability And Induced Emissions

The laws of quantum physics restrict atoms and molecules to possessing finite amounts of stored energy that depend on the type of atom or molecule and the shape of laser emission.

When an atom’s electrons are all in orbits that are as close to its nucleus as they can be, that atom is at its lowest energy level.

Laser Components

Although population inversions can be created in any of these three types of medium, most laser media are gases or solids.

The laser is said to be “pumped” when laser gases are typically housed in cylindrical tubes and activated by an electric current or external light source.

An optical resonator is required to increase the beam’s light energy.

A mirror pair facing one another creates the resonator by causing light emitted along the line between the mirrors to bounce back and forth. Light reflected back and forth across the medium laser gains intensity with each pass when a population inversion is generated.

Properties of A Laser Beam

In general, laser light differs from other types of light by being concentrated into a small beam, having a limited spectrum of wavelengths (commonly referred to as “monochromatic”), and having waves that are in phase with one another. These characteristics result from interactions between the laser medium, the resonant cavity, and the stimulated emission process.

The second photon that results from stimulated emission is identical to the first one that triggered it in terms of phase, wavelength, and direction. As a result, the two photons are coherent concerning one another, with peaks and valleys in phase.

Although a visible laser appears as a point of light on the wall across from it, the beam’s alignment, or collimation, is imperfect.

Laser emission is shaped by the rules of quantum mechanics, which limit atoms and molecules to having discrete amounts of stored energy that depend on the nature of the atom or molecule. The lowest energy level for an individual atom occurs when its electrons are all in the nearest possible orbits to its nucleus.

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