<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Lasers

A laser is a device that produces a special type of light: all the laser photons are identical! They all have the same wavelength (and frequency), amplitude and phase. Since they all have the same wavelength, this means they all have the same colour and the light is called monochromatic . ( Note: mono means "one" or "single" and chromatic means "colour".) This is very different to most other light sources which produce light with a range of wavelengths (e.g. white light from the sun consists of all the visible wavelengths.)

Laser light is highly directional and can be focused very well. This focus allows laser beams to be used over long distances, and to pack a lot of energy into the beam while still requiring reasonably small amounts of energy to be generated. Each centimetre of a typical laser beam contains many billions of photons. These special properties of laser light come from the way in which the laser photons are created and the energy levels of the material that makes up the laser. These properties make laser light extremely useful in many applications from CD players to eye surgery.

The term LASER stands for L ight A mplification by the S timulated E mission of R adiation. This stimulated emission is different to the spontaneous emission already discussed earlier. Let's review the absorption and emission processes which can occur in atoms.

  • Absorption : As you can see in the picture above, absorption happens when an electron jumps up to a higher energy level by absorbing a photon which has an energy equal to the energy difference between the two energy levels.
  • Spontaneous emission : Spontaneous emission is when an electron in a higher energy level drops down to a lower energy level and a photon is emitted with an energy equal to the energy difference between the two levels. There is no interference in this process from outside factors. Usually spontaneous emission happens very quickly after an electron gets into an excited state. In other words, the lifetime of the excited state is very short (the electron only stays in the high energy level for a very short time). However, there are some excited states where an electron can remain in the higher energy level for a longer time than usual before dropping down to a lower level. These excited states are called metastable states.
  • Stimulated emission : As the picture above shows, stimulated emission happens when a photon with an energy equal to the energy difference between two levels interacts with an electron in the higher level. This stimulates the electron to emit an identical photon and drop down to the lower energy level. This process results in two photons at the end.
Spontaneous Emission

Spontaneous emission occurs when an atom is in an unstable excited state and randomly decays to a less energetic state, emitting a photon to carry off the excess energy. The unstable state decays in a characteristic time, called the lifetime.

Meta-stable state

A meta-stable state is an excited atomic state that has an unusually long lifetime, compared to the lifetimes of other excited states of that atom. While most excited states have lifetimes measured in microseconds and nanoseconds ( 10 - 6 s and 10 - 9 s), meta-stable states can have lifetimes of milliseconds ( 10 - 3 s) or even seconds.

Questions & Answers

an athlete with a mass of 70kg runs at a velocity of 45km . determine the athlete's momentum
Lesedi Reply
Is that a velocity or something else
msawenkosi
45km/h i guess
Texas
Change to m/s
Texas
45km/h = 12.5 m/s p=mv =70×12.5 =875 kg.m/s
Thato
what are the measures of the rates of reaction
Lesego Reply
Volume Concentration Temperature Pressure Surface Area
Thato
the principle of superposition of waves
Sfundo Reply
what is work
Kool Reply
is this a group chat
Nobuhle Reply
Hey can y'all define newton's 2nd law
mthebzification
If a resultant force act on an object...the object will accelerate in the direction of a resultant force,the acceleration of the object is directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object
mosa
how do you calculate tension force
Bulumko
use the formula Fnet=ma if there is tension connecting two objects
Sboniso
to calculate Tension, usually calculate acceleration first Draw separate free body diagrams for each body. Apply Fnet = ma to calculate Tension
Kevin
Hi people
Paul
how does temperature affect the equilibrium position
Blessing Reply
an increased temperature increases the average kinetic energy thus in turn increases the number of effective collisions........
Lwando
so...which reaction is favored between endothermic and exothermic .when temperature is increased..?
Blessing
exothermic reaction because energy is realised to the surroundings as heat and light energy ....graphical so much energy is realised as reactants to form product and because temperature is high rate of reaction is fast which means there is a successful collision
Code
INTEMENDO - INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE FAVOURS ENDOTHERMIC DETEMEXO - DECREASE IN TEMPERATURE FAVOURS EXOTHERMIC
Thato
an object will continue in a state of rest unless it is acted upon an unbalanced force
Junior Reply
Newton's Law 1
Code
First Newton's Law
Azola
Newton's first law
Surprise
newton first law
Thinavhuyo
Newton's first law
Blessing
when pressure is increased what happen to volume
Siphelo Reply
decreases
Code
care to explain?
Mpati
if pressure is applied to a pistol , the volume will decrease and particles will collide more frequently with the wall of a container .Each time they collide with the wall they exert a force on them .More collision means more force and the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
Code
Because the volume has decreased , the particle will collide more frequently with the wall of a container and each time they collide with the wall of a container they exert a force on them.More collision means more force so the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
Code
what is the difference between momentum and a change in momentum?
Chavonne Reply
How to name a branched molecule from right or left?
Vadin Reply
What's Free Fall
Senzo Reply
Free Fall means there is no acting force on that object.
Dingaletu
only gravitational force
Dingaletu
no external force acting on an object
Sphiwe
by only force of gravite
Sello
but gravitational force
Sphiwe
true
Lucky
a motion in which the only force acting is gravitational force
Blessing
and an object experiencing free fall is referred as a projectile
Blessing
Do polymers form restrictedly only if compound is saturated, only?
milani Reply
what is a free fall?
Beyanca Reply
is when The Only Force acting On an Object is Gravitational Force
Madman
Thats right
Beyanca
then Why ask when you Know the answer?
Madman
She's just helping those who forgot it...bro
Thato
guys I need help on Getting ready for a last minute test
Kenelioe Reply
what help you need
Neil
we'll I'm in grade 12 so we doing this topic about upac thing
Kenelioe
on What?
Madman
the organic molecule section
Kenelioe
IUPAC NAMING WHICH FUNCTIONAL GROUP YOU CANNOT NAME?SO I COULD HELP YOU
Madman
ester
Sboniso
you should also look at structural isomers. Its crucial that they might add that one. also try and write down the structural formula of all the given compounds on the table
milani
hi guys i can explain everything in terms of physics and chemistry
Neil Reply
😂😂😂😂😂
Madman
yes
Lucky
yea
Kenelioe
guys 2mrrow I'm writing a test in chemistry I need help
Kenelioe
Hi guys. Can anyone please tell me what a functional group is?
Samukelo
a functional group depends on how many bonds there are between carbon atoms, if there are single bonds all the way it's an alkane, if there is a presence of at least one double bond it's a Alkene and if there's at least one triple bond it's an alkyne.
Olive

Get the best Siyavula textbooks: gr... course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask