Laser Resonators Experiment

    Uri Arieli, Instructor of the laser resonators experiment

 Shenkar Physics Building

             Room 322    




  1. Introduction
  2. Topics of the experiment
  3. How to prepare for the experiment?
  4. The experimental schedule
  5. Literature



In the middle of the last century, on May 16th 1960, Theodore Maiman observed for the first time the operation of a laser. Lasing was observed in a ruby crystal, a crystal of Al2O3 that contained ions of the transition metal Cr in its divalent state. Maiman's original laser is still operating today. The work of Maiman and of other pioneers in the field had generated a revolution in science and technology, which dramatically affected our lives. Today, lasers have been demonstrated in a wavelength range covering over 5 orders of magnitude of the electromagnetic spectrum, from X ray (1nm) to the terahertz regime (150 µm).

Lasers are being used for a huge variety of applications, including surgery, automobile making, range finding, entertainment etc.

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Topics of the experiment

  • Pump diode laser characteristics
  • Resonator stability
  • Transverse electromagnetic (TEM) modes
  • Q-Switching
  • Relaxation oscillations

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How to prepare for the experiment?

  1. Read the experiment's instructions.
  2. Read the MEOS YAG Experiment manufacturer manual, Ch. 1, 2, 3, 5.1.3. (similar system to ours). See Figures 6.1-6.6 and the surrounding text to better understand what will be measured in the experiment.
  3. Read the safety section (Sec. 1.2) in the instructions, memorize Sec. 1.2.3
  4. Learn the experiment's schedule.
  5. Make sure you understand the experimental technique.
  6. Answer the preparation questions (in the experiment's instructions).


The experimental schedule

  1. Written exam + Safety exam - Approximately one hour (closed material).
  2. Experimental system overview
  3. Calibration and resonator setup
  4. Resonator stability regime measurement
  5. TEM modes recording
  6. Relaxation oscillations characterization
  7. Passive Q-Switching



  1. How to write a report
  2. MEOS YAG Experiment manufacturer manual (similar system to ours)
  3. Saleh B.E.A, Teich M.C Fundamentals of Photonics, chapter 3 (TEM modes)
  4. Zhang, Xingyu, et al. "Optimization of Cr4+ doped saturable-absorber Q-switched lasers." IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, (1997): 2286-2294.

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