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Electromagnetic Waves and Lasers

Wayne D Kimura


This book reviews basic electromagnetic (EM) wave theory and applies it specifically to lasers, to give the reader not only tangible examples of how the theory is manifested in real life, but also practical knowledge about lasers, and their operation and usage. The latter can be useful for those involved with using lasers. As a short treatise on this subject matter, this book is not intended to dwell deeply into the details of EM waves nor lasers. A bibliography is provided for those who wish to explore in more depth the topics covered in this book. Rather the aim of this book is to offer a quick overview, which will allow the reader to gain a competent general understanding of EM waves and lasers.

About Editors

Dr Wayne D Kimura received his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. His first working experience with lasers was in 1975 using an argon ion laser to stop bleeding ulcers. In 1982 he joined STI Optronics, Inc., and is now president of the company. He has performed extensive research in the area of lasers and their applications including work on excimer, Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers; laser-triggered spark-gap switches; laser acceleration of electrons; magnetic field measurements using optical fibers; and advanced accelerator research and development.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Symbols
Chapter 1 - What are Electromagnetic Waves?
1.1    Electromagnetic (EM) Radiation
1.2    Characterization of EM Waves
   1.2.1    Maxwell's Equation
1.2.2    Helmholtz Wave Equation
1.2.3    Poynting Vector
1.2.4    Wave-Particle Duality of EM Radiation
1.3    Basic Properties of EM Waves
   1.3.1    Phase and Group Velocity
   1.3.2    EM Wave Propagation
   1.3.3    Focusing of Gaussian Beams
   1.3.4    Non-ideal Gaussian Beams
   1.3.5    Beam Coherence
   1.3.6    Interferometry Using Laser Beams
   1.3.7    Diffraction
   1.3.8    Light Scattering
1.4    Chapter 1 Summary

Chapter 2 - Lasers and Applying EM Wave Theory
2.1    How does a laser work?
2.2    Laser Resonator
2.3    Types of Lasers
2.4    Tuning of Laser Output Wavelength
2.5    Optical Modes
2.6    Creating Short Laser Pulses
2.7    Harmonic Generation and Conversion of Laser Wavelength
2.8    Beam Control and Manipulation
   2.8.1    Reflective Optics
   2.8.2    Transmissive Optics
   2.8.3    Optical Filters
   2.8.4    Optics Related to Polarization
   2.8.5    Dispersive Optics
   2.8.6    Optical Fibers
2.9    Optical System Design
   2.9.1    ABCD Matrix
   2.9.2    General Considerations When Utilizing Lasers for an Application
2.10    Chapter 2 Summary


Paperback ISBN: 9780750328883

Ebook ISBN: 9781681746142

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4613-5

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers

Series: IOP Series in Wave Phenomena in the Physical Sciences


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