2020 Laser Physics

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Physics
Somiya Kentaro 
Class Format
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
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Course description and aims

Starting from an understanding of basic interactions of light and maters known as spontaneous emission and induced emission, the instructor explains principle of a laser that consists of inverted population and an optical resonator. The instructor introduces the concept of coherence, which is very useful for characterizing the properties of laser light, and makes clear the difference with ordinary light. The instructor will then explain the characteristics of the laser light including its bandwidth, polarization, and spatial modes. The instructor will also explain the laser interferometer and its application.

Student learning outcomes

After understanding of an optical resonator combined with the spatial mode, population inversion in matter, amplification process of light in the laser media, students are expected to recognize the difference between laser light and ordinary light by using the idea of coherence. Students will also gain an understanding of the operating principles and features of several kinds of lasers, acquiring knowledge about their applications.


spatial mode, spontaneous emission, induced emission, optical resonator, population inversion, coherence, laser interferometer

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The lecture will use power point slides.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 What is laser Study the line width and coherence of laser light.
Class 2 Stimulated emission Understand spontaneous and induced emissions.
Class 3 Laser amplification Understand the gain factor and loss.
Class 4 Various kinds of Laser Understand how the laser works.
Class 5 Characteristics of laser light(1) Study the line width and coherence of actual laser light.
Class 6 Characteristics of laser light (2) Study laser modes.
Class 7 Laser interferometer Study how a laser interferometer works.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


No textbooks will be used.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Introduction to laser physics, Koich Shimoda, Iwanami.
Fundamental of laser, Kou Kurosawa, Optronics.

Assessment criteria and methods

A report will be assigned at the end of the term.

Related courses

  • PHY.C446 : Light and Matter I
  • PHY.C447 : Light and Matter II
  • PHY.C448 : Light and Matter III
  • PHY.C343 : Chemical Physics

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Quantum mechanics

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