Chapter

Springer Handbook of Lasers and Optics

pp 641-1046

Lasers and Coherent Light Sources

  • Orazio SveltoAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Politecnico di Milano Email author 
  • , Stefano LonghiAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Politecnico di Milano Email author 
  • , Giuseppe Della ValleAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Politecnico di Milano Email author 
  • , Günter HuberAffiliated withInstitut für Laser-Physik Department Physik, Universität Hamburg Email author 
  • , Stefan KückAffiliated withOptics Division, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Email author 
  • , Markus PollnauAffiliated withMESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente Email author 
  • , Hartmut HillmerAffiliated withInstitute of Nanostructure Technologies and Analytics (INA), University of Kassel Email author 
  • , Thomas KusserowAffiliated withInstitute of Nanostructure Technologies and Analytics (INA), University of Kassel Email author 
  • , Rainer EngelbrechtAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical-Electronic-Communication Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg Email author 
    • , Frank Rohlfing (deceased)Affiliated withDomino UK Ltd.
    • , Jeffrey KaiserAffiliated withDivision of Newport Corporation, Spectra-Physics Email author 
    • , Ralf MalzAffiliated withResearch and Development, LASOS Lasertechnik GmbH Email author 
    • , Gerd MarowskyAffiliated withLaser-Laboratorium Göttingen e.V. Email author 
    • , Klaus MannAffiliated withDepartment Optics/Short Wavelengths, Laser-Laboratorium Göttingen e.V. Email author 
    • , Peter SimonAffiliated withUltrashort Pulse Photonics, Laser-Laboratorium Göttingen e.V. Email author 
    • , Charles K. RhodesAffiliated withPhysics Department, University of Illinois at Chicago Email author 
    • , Frank J. DuarteAffiliated withInterferometric OpticsElectrical & Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico Email author 
    • , Annette BorsutzkyAffiliated withFachbereich Physik, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern Email author 
    • , Johannes A. LʼhuillierAffiliated withPhotonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. Email author 
    • , Markus W. SigristAffiliated withDepartment of Physics Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich Email author 
    • , Helen WächterAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Queenʼs University Email author 
    • , Evgeny SaldinAffiliated withDeutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) Email author 
    • , Evgeny SchneidmillerAffiliated withDeutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) Email author 
    • , Mikhail YurkovAffiliated withDeutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) Email author 
    • , Roland SauerbreyAffiliated withHelmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. Email author 
    • , Joachim HeinAffiliated withInstitute for Optics and Quantum Electronics, Friedrich-Schiller University Email author 
    • , Michele GianellaAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics Department of Physics, ETH Zurich Email author 
    • , Jürgen HelmckeAffiliated withPhysikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) Email author 
    • , Katsumi MidorikawaAffiliated withLaser Technology Laboratory, RIKEN Email author 
    • , Fritz RiehleAffiliated withDivision of Optics, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Email author 
    • , Steffen SteinbergAffiliated withLASOS Lasertechnik GmbH Email author 
    • , Hans BrandAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg LHFT Email author 

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Abstract

This chapter describes lasers and other sources of coherent light that operate in a wide wavelength range. First, the general principles for the generation of coherent continuous-wave and pulsed radiation are treated including the interaction of radiation with matter, the properties of optical resonators and their modes as well as such processes as Q-switching and mode-locking. The general introduction is followed by sections on numerous types of lasers, the emphasis being on todayʼs most important sources of coherent light, in particular on solid-state lasers and several types of gas lasers. An important part of the chapter is devoted to the generation of coherent radiation by nonlinear processes with optical parametric oscillators, difference- and sum-frequency generation, and high-order harmonics. Radiation in the extended ultraviolet (EUV) and x-ray ranges can be generated by free electron lasers (FEL) and advanced x-ray sources. Ultrahigh light intensities up to 1021 W/cm2 open the door to studies of relativistic laser–matter interaction and laser particle acceleration. The chapter closes with a section on laser stabilization.