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EEC237A – Lasers

3 units – Fall Quarter; alternate years

Lecture: 3 hours

Prerequisite: EEC 130B or equivalent; EEC 235

Grading: Letter; midterm/project (30%), homework (30%) and final (40%).

Course Description:

Theoretical and practical description of lasers. Theory of population inversion, amplification and oscillation using semiclassical oscillator model and rate equations. Description and design of real laser systems.

Expanded Course Description:

  1. Atomic Transitions
    1. Classical oscillator model
    2. Stimulated emission
  2. Complex Atomic Susceptibility
    1. Dipole transitions, transition strength
    2. Dephasing, decay rate
  3. Rate Equations for Ensemble of Atoms
    1. Stimulated transition rates, cross sections
    2. Nonradiative relaxation
    3. Linewidth for homogeneous ensemble
    4. Two, three and four level systems
    5. Pumping
  4. Laser Amplification
    1. Small signal gain
    2. Homogeneous saturation
    3. Phase effects of gain
    4. Inhomogeneous systems-hole burning
  5. Optical Resonators
    1. Review of basic resonator theory
    2. Three and N mirror cavities
    3. Mode frequencies
  6. Laser Oscillation
    1. Threshold condition
    2. B. Oscillation frequency-frequency pulling
    3. Output power-optimization of output coupling
    4. Large gain output coupling
  7. Real Laser Systems
    1. Solid state (crystal and glass) lasers
    2. Dye and color center lasers
    3. Gas lasers
    4. Simplified description of semiconductor lasers
  8. Oscillation Dynamics in Lasers
    1. Coupled cavity and atomic rate equations
    2. Laser spiking, relaxation oscillations
    3. Q switching-active and passive
    4. CW mode competition-spatial hole burning


  1. Siegman: Lasers, University Science Books, 1986.

Instructor: Heritage


Last revised: May 1997