What is a laser?

June 24, 2022
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The term laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".

Lasers have the following properties:

(1) Outstanding monochromaticity

The light waves in the laser beam are all the same color;

Ordinary light (such as the light emitted by fluorescent tubes) is generally a mixture of several colors of light that appear white.

(2) Excellent directionality

The laser emits a beam with high directivity, that is, the composed light wave propagates in a straight line and will not spread;

Light waves from ordinary light sources spread out in all directions.

(3) High coherence.

As the light waves within a laser beam propagate, they oscillate with perfectly synchronized peaks and troughs, a property called coherence. When two laser beams overlap each other, the peaks and troughs of each beam only reinforce each other, creating an interference pattern.