Donna Strickland, Ph. D.

Course outline

  1. Laser basics
    • Overview of laser components
    • Pumping schemes; optical-flashlamp, pump laser, electrical
    • Types of laser; solid-state, dye, semiconductor, gas
  2. Laser cavities and modes
    • Simple geometric cavities
    • Spectral and spatial properties of cavity modes
    • Confocal resonator solution from diffraction
  3. Gaussian beam propagation
    • Gaussian beams
    • Generalized laser cavity- stability criteria
    • ABCD Propagation matricies for Gaussian Beams
  4. Interaction of radiation with atoms and ions
    • Review of blackbody radiation
    • Energy levels, spontaneous and stimulated emission, absorption
    • Einstein A and B coefficients
    • Homogeneous and inhomogeneous line broadening, saturation
  5. Laser amplification and oscillation dynamics
    • Rate equations for 3 and 4 level lasers
    • Threshold condition for oscillation
  6. Electro-optics and acousto-ptics
    • Review of birefringence
    • Electro-optic effect, pockels cell as modulator and beam deflector, the Q-Switch
    • Acousto-optic scattering, acusto-optic modulation and mode-locking
  7. Non-linear optics
    • Frequency conversion
    • Optical parametric generation and amplification
    • Non-linear pulse propagation
    • White light generation