Related topics: light · laser · electrons · molecules · atoms

A new force for optical tweezers

When studying biological cells using optical tweezers, one main issue is the damage caused to the cell by the tool. Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg, has discovered a new type of force that will greatly reduce the ...

Ring resonators corner light

Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have created the first silicon chip that can reliably constrain light to its four corners. The effect, which arises from interfering optical pathways, isn't altered by small ...

Quantum simulation could help flights run on time

A powerful new form of computing could help scientists design new types of materials for nanoelectronics, allow airlines to solve complex logistical problems to ensure flights run on time, and tackle traffic jams to keep ...

Organic laser diodes move from dream to reality

Researchers from Japan have demonstrated that a long-elusive kind of laser diode based on organic semiconductors is indeed possible, paving the way for the further expansion of lasers in applications such as biosensing, displays, ...

Lasers aim to replace scalpels in cutting-edge biopsy technique

To a patient, the analysis of a tissue biopsy sample to check for something like cancer may seem like a relatively simple process, even if it does mean giving up a small piece of flesh to be tested. The sample heads off to ...

Tiny droplets open the doors to in-flight imaging of proteins

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated the creation of a beam of nanodroplets capable of delivering a variety of biological samples, from cell organelles to single proteins, virtually free from any contaminations, ...

Future bright for mini synchrotrons

Colliding a stream of electrons with laser light near an array of tiny silver structures could be the recipe for a new X-ray source that could revolutionize medical imaging and security scanning.

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Laser

A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process called stimulated emission. The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Typically, lasers are thought of as emitting light with a narrow wavelength spectrum ("monochromatic" light). This is not true of all lasers, however: some emit light with a broad spectrum, while others emit light at multiple distinct wavelengths simultaneously. The coherence of typical laser emission is distinctive. Most other light sources emit incoherent light, which has a phase that varies randomly with time and position.

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