Related topics: laser

Twisting up atoms through space and time

One of the most exciting applications of quantum computers will be to direct their gaze inwards, at the very quantum rules that make them tick. Quantum computers can be used to simulate quantum physics itself, and perhaps ...

Nearly 50-meter laser experiment sets record in university hallway

It's not at every university that laser pulses powerful enough to burn paper and skin are sent blazing down a hallway. But that's what happened in UMD's Energy Research Facility, an unremarkable looking building on the northeast ...

A new, better technology for X-ray laser pulses

The X-rays used to examine a broken leg in hospital are easy to produce. In industry, however, X-ray radiation of a completely different kind is needed—namely, X-ray laser pulses that are as short and high-energy as possible. ...

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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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