PHYC/ECE 464: Laser Physics I

Instructor
Prof. F. Elohim Becerra
Email: fbecerra@unm.edu
Office: P&A 19
Phone: 505 277-2673

Teaching Assistant
Nazanin Mosavian 
Email: nmosavian@unm.edu
Office: P&A


Description of the class

This course provides an introduction to the physics of lasers and some applications. It covers fundamental properties of light and its behavior in the presence of matter, the analysis of resonant cavities and light oscillation and amplification, and the physics of lasers and their properties. The course will address topics in fundamentals of electromagnetic theory, propagation of light, coherence, optical resonators, light-matter interactions, atomic radiation and laser excitation.

Students in this course will learn the fundamental properties of light-matter interactions and light propagation, and will examine the principles of different kinds of lasers.

Pre-requisites: E&M, Undergraduate Physics, Modern Physics, Knowledge of Differential Equations, Linear & Complex Algebra, Matrix representations, Optics.


Lectures

Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-6:45, P&A Room 184.

Textbook

Textbook for the class:
Laser Electronics (3rd Edition) by Joseph T. Verdeyen. The course will cover Chapters 1-11, although we will not cover all the material in some chapters.

Additional resources
Lasers: Anthony E. Siegman.
Laser Physics
: P. W. Milonni, J. H. Eberly.
Optics, Light and Lasers: (2nd Edition) Dieter Meschede.
Introduction to Optics (3rd Edition): Frank L. Pedrotti Leno M. Pedrotti Leno S. Pedrotti.
Fundamentals of Photonics , 2nd Edition: E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich.
Optics, 4th Edition: E. Hecht.

Homework Assignments

There will be regular assignments of problem sets taken from the textbook by E. Verdeyen, about one set per week, which may also contain additional exercises.
The assignments will be given throughout the semester and will be posted in the Tentative Schedule about one week before they are due. Homeworks must be turned in at the begining of the class at 5:30 pm on the due date.

Office hours

Office hours: Monday 11:30 am -13:30 pm. You may also arrange a meeting for another time via email.
TA office hours: Tuesday 11:00am-12:00pm P&A lobby. You may also arrange a meeting for another time via email.

Grading

The final grade will be based on the homework assignments, two midterm exams and a final exam. The contribution to the final grade is as follows:

  1. Homework: 20%
  2. Midterm exams: 25% each
  3. Final: 30%

Exam Dates (subject to change): Midterms, I TBD and II November 8.

The Final Exam is comprehensive and is scheduled for Monday, December 11, 5:30-7:00 pm

FORMULA SHEET

Syllabus Topics

The course will be based on the textbook by Joseph T. Verdeyen. It will cover several topics in each chapter, however, not all of them. Below is a tentative list of topics that will be covered. You can find the calendar for the course in the Tentative Schedule.

  1. Introduction
    - Historical overview
  2. Review of Electromagnetic Theory (Ch 1)
    - Maxwell's equations; wave equations; propagation in dielectrics; boundary conditions
  3. Ray Tracing in an Optical System (Ch 2)
    - ABCD Matrix method and applications
  4. Gaussian Beams (Ch 3)
    - TEM waves; high-order modes
  5. Optical Cavities (Ch 5 & 6)
    - Gaussian beams in stable resonators; resonant optical cavities; finesse and photon lifetime
  6. Atomic Radiation (Ch 7)
    - Black body radiation; Einstein coefficients; lineshape; light-matter interaction; line broadening
  7. Laser Oscillation (Ch 8)
    - Laser oscillation and amplification; gain saturation, amplified spontaneous emission
  8. General Characteristics of Lasers (Ch 9)
    - CW lasers; laser dynamics; Q-switching; mode locking
  9. Laser Systems (Ch 10 &11)
    - Three- and four-level lasers; Ruby lasers; rare earth laser-amplifiers; gas-discharge lasers; free-electron lasers; semiconductor lasers
  10. Topics in Laser Applications
    - If time allows, we will discuss some special topics such as laser cooling, coherence and quantum optics

Additional resources

EXAM FORMULA SHEET

Class overview: Lecture 1

Lasers: Anthony E. Siegman.
Laser Physics
: P. W. Milonni, J. H. Eberly.
Optics, Light and Lasers: (2nd Edition) Dieter Meschede.
Introduction to Optics (3rd Edition): Frank L. Pedrotti Leno M. Pedrotti Leno S. Pedrotti.
Fundamentals of Photonics , 2nd Edition: E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich.
Optics, 4th Edition: E. Hecht.

Tentative Schedule

Topic Date Subject Verdeyen Reading Homework HW Due Notes
Introduction 08/21 (M) Historical Overview; Lasers        
Review of E&M 08/23 (W) Maxwell's Eqns. and waves in dielectrics Ch 1 HW1 (W) Aug 30 HW1Sol
  08/28 (M) Boundary conditions; coherent radiation Ch 1      
Ray Tracing 08/30 (W) ABCD matrix methods Ch 2 HW2 (W) Sep 6 HW2Sol
  09/04 (M) --- Ch 2      
  09/6 (W) Cavities and lenses Ch 2 HW3 (W) Sep 13 HW3Sol
Gaussian Beams 09/11 (M) Applications of ray tracing. Wave equation with cylindrical symmetry Ch 2/3      
  09/13 (W) Properties of Gaussian beams and ABCD matrix Ch 3 HW4 (W) Sep 20 HW4Sol
  09/18 (M) Properties of Gaussian beams Ch 3/4      
Optical Cavities 09/20 (W) Gaussian beams in cavities Ch 5 HW5 (F) Sep 29 HW5Sol
  09/25 (M) Properties of Gaussian beams Ch 3/4      
Resonant Cavities 09/27 (W) Resonant Optical Cavities Ch 6      
  10/02 (M) Finesse and Lifetime Ch 6      
Atomic Radiation 10/04 (W) Dipole Oscillator Model Ch 7/13 HW6 (W) Oct 11 HW6Sol
  10/16 (M) Einstein coefficients Ch 7 HW7 (M) Oct 23 HW7Sol
  10/18 (W) Linewidth and Amplification Ch 7      
  10/23 (M) Broadening Ch 7 HW8 (M) Oct 30 HW8Sol
Laser Oscillation 10/25 (W) Laser Oscillations Ch 8      
  10/30 (M) Saturated gain and amplifier Ch 8 HW9 (M) Nov 6 HW9Sol
  11/1 (W) Doppler-broadened saturated gain Ch 8      
  11/6 (M) Laser linewidth and output power Ch 8      
  11/8 (W) MT2        
Laser Properties 11/13 (M) 3- and 4-level systems. CW ring laser Ch 9 HW10 (M) Nov 20  
  11/15 (W) Optimal coupling. Laser dynamics Ch 9      
  11/20 (M) Q-switching Ch 9      
  11/22 (W) Thanks giving        
  11/27 (M) " Ch 9      
  11/29 (W) Mode Locking Ch 9      
  11/04(M) " Ch 9      
  12/06(W)          
  12/11(M) Final: comprehensive