A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".〔〔(【引用サイトリンク】url=http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/laser )〕 The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Laboratories, based on theoretical work by Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow. 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. Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers. Lasers can also have high temporal coherence, which allows them to emit light with a very narrow spectrum, i.e., they can emit a single color of light. Temporal coherence can be used to produce pulses of light as short as a femtosecond.
Among their many applications, lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, and barcode scanners; 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 laser lighting displays in entertainment.
== Fundamentals ==
Lasers are distinguished from other light sources by their coherence. Spatial coherence is typically expressed through the output being a narrow beam, which is diffraction-limited. Laser beams can be focused to very tiny spots, achieving a very high irradiance, or they can have very low divergence in order to concentrate their power at a great distance.
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.〔''Conceptual physics'', Paul Hewitt, 2002〕 A beam produced by a thermal or other incoherent light source has an instantaneous amplitude and phase that vary randomly with respect to time and position, thus having a short coherence length.
Lasers are characterized according to their wavelength in a vacuum. Most "single wavelength" lasers actually produce radiation in several ''modes'' having slightly differing frequencies (wavelengths), often not in a single polarization. Although temporal coherence implies monochromaticity, there are lasers that emit a broad spectrum of light or emit different wavelengths of light simultaneously. There are some lasers that are not single spatial mode and consequently have light beams that diverge more than is required by the diffraction limit. However, all such devices are classified as "lasers" based on their method of producing light, i.e., stimulated emission. Lasers are employed in applications where light of the required spatial or temporal coherence could not be produced using simpler technologies.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
| 翻訳と辞書 : 翻訳のためのインターネットリソース|
Copyright(C) kotoba.ne.jp 1997-2016. All Rights Reserved.