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What Is a Laser?

What Is a Laser?

A laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which refers to the release of energy in the form of photons when electrons in an atom absorb energy, move from a low energy level to a high energy level, and then fall back to a low energy level.

This results in an induced (excited) photon beam that has highly uniform optical properties.

Compared to ordinary light sources, lasers are more monochromatic, brighter, and more directional. They have a wide range of applications in the automotive industry.

Laser

Laser light-emitting principle

The 3 elements of laser generation:

  • Excitation source
  • Medium
  • Resonant cavity

The medium is excited to a high energy state, and the light wave is amplified through the reflection of the excited and absorbed light between two end mirrors.

This back-and-forth reflection builds up enough energy to initiate the emission of laser light.

The 4 properties of laser.

  • Monochromaticity
  • Coherence
  • Directionality
  • High brightness

The highly focused laser can thus provide welding, cutting and heat treatment functions.

Laser light-emitting principle

Classification of lasers

Lasers can be categorized based on the light-emitting medium as follows:

  • Gas Lasers: These lasers have a simple structure, low cost, and can operate continuously and stably. Examples include CO2 lasers at 10.6μm.
  • Liquid Lasers: Dye lasers are frequently used, and organic dyes are typically dissolved in solvents such as ethanol, acetone, or water.
  • Solid-State Lasers: Nd:YAG laser, where Nd stands for neodymium, a rare earth element, and YAG represents Yttrium Aluminum Garnet, is a common example. The main advantage of this type of laser is that the generated beam can be transmitted through fiber optics. The excitation beam intensity can reach 106W/cm2 at a wavelength of 1.06μm.
  • Semiconductor Lasers: Common materials used in these lasers include gallium arsenide (GaAs), cadmium sulfide (CdS), indium phosphide (InP), zinc sulfide (ZnS), etc.

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