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Lasers

  • Wolfgang DemtröderEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)

Abstract

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation that describes the basic physical principle of its operation. Gordon, Zeiger and Townes [1] showed for the first time in 1955 that a microwave could be amplified by \(\mathrm {NH}_{3}\) molecules on the inversion transition at \(\lambda =1.26\,\mathrm {cm}\) (Fig.  4.14) if these molecules were prepared in such a way that the upper level of the transition had a larger population than the lower one. With such inverted \(\mathrm {NH}_{3}\) molecules inside a microwave cavity, the first “maser” (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) could be operated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fachbereich PhysikUniversität KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany

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