Tropper, Anne C. and Brocklesby, William S.
Laser ions ring local modes first
Physics World, 10, (3), .
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We tend to think that lasers only produce light. In many solid-state lasers, however, just as much energy ends up as vibrations of the laser crystal as emerges in the laser beam. These vibrations are crucial to the operation of the laser because they carry excess energy away from the ion that produces laser emission. But we do not know how the ion transfers this energy into the lattice, in particular how each ion is able to release energies many times greater than those typical of thermal vibrations. Experiments by Dana Calistru and colleagues at City College in New York have now provided new insights into this mechanism that could lead to improved materials for solid-state lasers
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