Laser

laserslaser beamlaser lightlaser beamslasinglaser pulseinfrared lasercoherent radiationcontinuous-wave lasercoherent
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.wikipedia
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Acronym

initialismacronymsinitials
The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".
An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components of a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in "NATO" or "laser") and sometimes syllables (as in "Benelux").

Laser cutting

laser cutterlaser cutlaser cutters
A laser differs from other sources of light in that it emits light coherently. Spatial coherence allows a laser to be focused to a tight spot, enabling applications such as laser cutting and lithography.
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists.

Laser pointer

laser pointerslaser lightgreen laser lights
Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers and lidar.
A laser pointer or laser pen is a small handheld device with a power source (usually a battery) and a laser diode emitting a very narrow coherent low-powered laser beam of visible light, intended to be used to highlight something of interest by illuminating it with a small bright spot of colored light.

Optical disc drive

optical driveoptical disk driveoptical disc recorder
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
In computing, an optical disc drive (ODD) is a disc drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs.

Laser printing

laser printerlaser printerslaser
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
It produces high-quality text and graphics (and moderate-quality photographs) by repeatedly passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively charged cylinder called a "drum" to define a differentially charged image.

Laser lighting display

laser showlight showlaser light show
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
A laser lighting display or laser light show involves the use of laser light to entertain an audience.

Laser beam welding

laser weldingweldinglaser beam
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
Laser beam welding (LBW) is a welding technique used to join pieces of metal or thermoplastics through the use of a laser.

Laser rangefinder

laser range finderlaser ranginglaser range-finder
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
A laser rangefinder is a rangefinder that uses a laser beam to determine the distance to an object.

Lidar

laser altimeterlaser radarlight detection and ranging
Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers and lidar.
Lidar originated in the early 1960s, shortly after the invention of the laser, and combined laser-focused imaging with the ability to calculate distances by measuring the time for a signal to return using appropriate sensors and data acquisition electronics.

Barcode reader

barcode scannerbar code readerbar code scanner
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
Laser scanners work the same way as pen type readers except that they use a laser beam as the light source and typically employ either a reciprocating mirror or a rotating prism to scan the laser beam back and forth across the bar code.

Optical amplifier

optical amplificationoptical amplifiersamplifiers
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.
An optical amplifier may be thought of as a laser without an optical cavity, or one in which feedback from the cavity is suppressed.

Laser pumping

pumpedpumppumping
For the gain medium to amplify light, it needs to be supplied with energy in a process called pumping.
Laser pumping is the act of energy transfer from an external source into the gain medium of a laser.

Active laser medium

gain mediumlasing mediumlaser gain medium
A laser consists of a gain medium, a mechanism to energize it, and something to provide optical feedback.
The active laser medium (also called gain medium or lasing medium) is the source of optical gain within a laser.

Stimulated emission

stimulatedsaturation intensityemission
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.
Such a gain medium, along with an optical resonator, is at the heart of a laser or maser.

Polarization (waves)

polarizationpolarizedpolarized light
Temporal (or longitudinal) coherence implies a polarized wave at a single frequency, whose phase is correlated over a relatively great distance (the coherence length) along the beam.
Especially impacted are technologies such as lasers, wireless and optical fiber telecommunications, and radar.

Optical cavity

optical resonatorcavitylaser cavity
The most common type of laser uses feedback from an optical cavity—a pair of mirrors on either end of the gain medium.
Optical cavities are a major component of lasers, surrounding the gain medium and providing feedback of the laser light.

Astrophysical maser

masermasersmaser emission
Further use of the words laser and maser in an extended sense, not referring to laser technology or devices, can be seen in usages such as astrophysical maser and atom laser.
Like a laser, the emission from a maser is stimulated (or seeded) and monochromatic, having the frequency corresponding to the energy difference between two quantum-mechanical energy levels of the species in the gain medium which have been pumped into a non-thermal population distribution.

Maser

masersammonia maserhydrogen maser
Because the microwave predecessor of the laser, the maser, was developed first, devices of this sort operating at microwave and radio frequencies are referred to as "masers" rather than "microwave lasers" or "radio lasers".
The laser works by the same principle as the maser, but produces higher frequency coherent radiation at visible wavelengths.

Collimated beam

collimatedcollimationcollimated light
Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers and lidar.
Laser light from gas or crystal lasers is highly collimated because it is formed in an optical cavity between two parallel mirrors which constrain the light to a path perpendicular to the surfaces of the mirrors.

Free-space optical communication

laser communicationfree space opticsfree space
Lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.
The invention of lasers in the 1960s, revolutionized free space optics.

Lasing threshold

thresholdlaser thresholdnot yet lasers
The minimum pump power needed to begin laser action is called the lasing threshold.
The lasing threshold is the lowest excitation level at which a laser's output is dominated by stimulated emission rather than by spontaneous emission.

Photon

photonslight quantalight
When an electron absorbs energy either from light (photons) or heat (phonons), it receives that incident quantum of energy.
The photon concept has led to momentous advances in experimental and theoretical physics, including lasers, Bose–Einstein condensation, quantum field theory, and the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Injection seeder

injection seeding
Some lasers use a separate injection seeder to start the process off with a beam that is already highly coherent.
Injection seeders are devices that direct the output of small "seed" lasers into the cavity of a much larger laser to stabilize the latter's output.

Laser beam profiler

beam profilebeam-profilingscanning-slit profiler
A laser beam profiler is used to measure the intensity profile, width, and divergence of laser beams.
A laser beam profiler captures, displays, and records the spatial intensity profile of a laser beam at a particular plane transverse to the beam propagation path.

Gamma-ray laser

gamma ray lasergraser
In this usage, the term "light" includes electromagnetic radiation of any frequency, not only visible light, hence the terms infrared laser, ultraviolet laser, X-ray laser and gamma-ray laser.
A gamma-ray laser, or graser, would produce coherent gamma rays, just as an ordinary laser produces coherent rays of visible light.