Simplified Physics

  • Gregory T. Absten
  • Stephen N. Joffe


The word LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Visible light is only one small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (Fig. 1). Although the exact nature of light is still not understood, it does show properties both of discrete particles (photons) and waves. For the purposes of understanding the electromagnetic spectrum and lasers, we will primarily look at light in terms of its wave characteristics. A wave is characterized by four quantities: wavelength, amplitude, frequency and velocity (Fig. 2).


Electromagnetic Spectrum Tuning Fork Carbon Dioxide Laser Ordinary Light Optical Concept 
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Copyright information

© G.T. Absten and S.N. Joffe 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory T. Absten
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Stephen N. Joffe
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Advanced Laser Services CorporationColumbusUSA
  2. 2.University of Cincinnati Medical CollegeUSA
  3. 3.Scientific Fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and SurgeryUSA
  4. 4.Laser Centers of America, Inc.USA

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