Basic Laser: Physics and Safety
Light is a very complex system of radiant energy that is composed of waves and energy packets known as photons. It is arranged into the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) according to the length of those waves. The distance between two successive troughs or crests of these waves, measured in meters, determines the wavelength. For the visible portion of the EMS, the wavelength determines the color of the laser light. The number of wave crests (or troughs) that pass a given point in a second determines the frequency for each source of EMS energy. The wavelength and frequency of light are inversely related to one another. Thus, shorter wavelengths of light have higher frequencies and more energenic photons than longer wavelengths of light which have lower frequencies and less energenic photons.