Tunable Laser Optics  book cover
2nd Edition

Tunable Laser Optics

ISBN 9781138893757
Published July 26, 2017 by CRC Press

USD $74.95

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Book Description

Broadly tunable lasers have had, and continue to have, an enormous impact in many and diverse fields of science and technology. From a renaissance in spectroscopy to laser guide stars and laser cooling, the nexus is the tunable laser.

Tunable Laser Optics offers a transparent and comprehensive treatment of the physics of tunable laser optics based on a detailed description of first principles. Authored by a leading expert in the field, the book covers the optics and optical principles needed to build lasers, the optics instrumentation necessary to characterize laser emission, and laser-based optical instrumentation, addressing key topics such as Dirac’s notation, the interferometric equation, the uncertainty principle, pulse compression, and tunable narrow-linewidth lasers.

This revised, expanded, and improved Second Edition:

  • Contains new and additional material on tunable lasers and quantum optics
  • Explains the first principles of tunable laser optics in a clear and concise manner
  • Presents an explicit exposition of the relevant theory, without the use of short cuts
  • Employs numerous examples, case studies, and figures to illustrate important concepts
  • Includes carefully designed problems of direct practical significance to stimulate application

Emphasizing the utilitarian aspects of the optics and theory, Tunable Laser Optics, Second Edition provides valuable insight into the optics and the trade-offs involved in the design and construction of tunable lasers and optical devices. It makes an ideal textbook for advanced undergraduate-level and graduate-level optics courses for physics and engineering students, as well as a handy reference for researchers and experimentalists.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



Introduction to Lasers


Historical Remarks


Laser Optics

Laser Categories

Excitation Mechanisms and Rate Equations

Rate Equations

Dynamics of Multiple-Level System

Transition Probabilities and Cross Sections

The Schrödinger Equation and Semiconductor Lasers

A Heuristic Introduction to the Schrödinger Equation

The Schrödinger Equation via Dirac’s Notation

The Time-Independent Schrödinger Equation

Semiconductor Emission

Quantum Wells

Quantum Cascade Lasers

Quantum Dots

Introduction to Laser Resonators and Laser Cavities


Dirac Optics


Dirac’s Notation in Optics



Geometry of the N-Slit Interferometer

N-Slit Interferometer Experiment

Generalized Diffraction

Positive Diffraction

Positive and Negative Refraction


The Cavity Linewidth Equation

Introduction to Angular Dispersion

Dirac and the Laser


The Uncertainty Principle in Optics

Approximate Derivation of the Uncertainty Principle

The Wave Character of Particles

The Diffraction Identity and the Uncertainty Principle

Alternative Versions of the Uncertainty Principle

Applications of the Uncertainty Principle in Optics

Beam Divergence

Beam Divergence and Astronomy

The Interferometric Equation and the Uncertainty Principle

Quantum Cryptography


The Physics of Multiple-Prism Optics


Generalized Multiple-Prism Dispersion

Double-Pass Generalized Multiple-Prism Dispersion

Multiple Return-Pass Generalized Multiple- Prism Dispersion

Single-Prism Equations

Multiple-Prism Dispersion Linewidth Narrowing

Mechanics of Linewidth Narrowing in Optically Pumped Pulsed Laser Oscillators

Design of Zero-Dispersion Multiple-Prism Beam Expanders

Dispersion of Amici, or Compound, Prisms


Multiple-Prism Dispersion and Pulse Compression


Applications of Multiple-Prism Arrays




Maxwell Equations

Polarization and Reflection

Plane of Incidence

Jones Calculus


Polarizing Prisms

Transmission Efficiency in Multiple-Prism Arrays

Induced Polarization in a Double-Prism Beam Expander

Double-Refraction Polarizers

Intensity Control of Laser Beams Using Polarization

Polarization Rotators

Birefringent Polarization Rotators

Broadband Prismatic Polarization Rotators


Laser Beam Propagation Matrices


ABCD Propagation Matrices

Properties of ABCD Matrices

Survey of ABCD Matrices

The Astronomical Telescope

A Single Prism in Space

Multiple-Prism Beam Expanders

Telescopes in Series

Single Return-Pass Beam Divergence

Multiple Return-Pass Beam Divergence

Unstable Resonators

Higher Order Matrices


Narrow-Linewidth Tunable Laser Oscillators


Transverse and Longitudinal Modes

Transverse Mode Structure

Longitudinal Mode Emission

Tunable Laser Oscillator Architectures

Tunable Laser Oscillators without Intracavity Beam Expansion

Tunable Laser Oscillators with Intracavity Beam Expansion

Widely Tunable Narrow-Linewidth External Cavity Semiconductor Lasers

Distributed Feedback Lasers

Wavelength Tuning Techniques

Prismatic Tuning Techniques

Diffractive Tuning Techniques

Synchronous Tuning Techniques

Bragg Gratings

Interferometric Tuning Techniques

Longitudinal Tuning Techniques for Laser Microcavities

Birefringent Filters

Polarization Matching

Design of Efficient Narrow-Linewidth Tunable Laser Oscillators

Useful Axioms for the Design of Narrow- Linewidth Tunable Laser Oscillators

Narrow-Linewidth Oscillator-Amplifiers

Laser-Pumped Narrow-Linewidth Oscillator- Amplifiers

Narrow-Linewidth MO Forced Oscillators



Nonlinear Optics


Introduction to Nonlinear Polarization

Generation of Frequency Harmonics

Second Harmonic and Sum-Frequency Generation

Difference-Frequency Generation and Optical Parametric Oscillation

The Refractive Index as a Function of Intensity

Optical Phase Conjugation

Raman Shifting

Optical Clockwork


Lasers and Their Emission Characteristics


Gas Lasers

Pulsed Molecular Gas Lasers

Pulsed Atomic Metal Vapor Lasers

CW Gas Lasers

Organic Dye Lasers

Pulsed Organic Dye Lasers

CW Organic Dye Lasers

Solid-State Lasers

Ionic Solid-State Lasers

Transition Metal Solid-State Lasers

Color Center Lasers

Diode Laser-Pumped Fiber Lasers

Optical Parametric Oscillators

Semiconductor Lasers

Tunable Quantum Cascade Lasers

Tunable Quantum Dot Lasers

Additional Lasers


The N-Slit Laser Interferometer: Optical Architecture and Applications


Optical Architecture of the NSLI

Beam Propagation in the NSLI

An Interferometric Computer

Secure Interferometric Communications in Free Space

Very Large NSLIs for Secure Interferometric Communications in Free Space

Applications of the NSLI

Digital Laser Micromeasurements

Light Modulation Measurements

Wavelength Meter and Broadband Interferograms

Imaging Laser Printers




Two-Beam Interferometers

The Sagnac Interferometer

The Mach–Zehnder Interferometer

The Michelson Interferometer

Multiple-Beam Interferometers

The Hanbury Brown–Twiss Interferometer

The Fabry–Pérot Interferometer

Design of Fabry–Pérot Etalons

Coherent and Semicoherent Interferograms


Interferometric Wavelength Meters

Fabry–Perot Wavelength Meters





Prism Spectrometers

Diffraction Grating Spectrometers

Dispersive Wavelength Meters


Physical Constants and Optical Quantities

Fundamental Physical Constants

Conversion Quantities

Units of Optical Quantities

Dispersion Constants of Optical Materials

∂n/∂t of Laser and Optical Materials




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F. J. Duarte is a research physicist with Interferometric Optics, Rochester, New York, USA, and an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, USA. His career as a laser physicist encompasses academia, industry, and the defense establishment. He holds a Ph.D in physics from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, where he was a student of the well-known quantum physicist J. C. Ward. Dr. Duarte is the author of the generalized multiple-prism dispersion theory, has made unique contributions to the physics and architecture of tunable laser oscillators, and pioneered the use of Dirac’s quantum notation in interferometry, oscillator physics, and classical optics.


"The book’s emphasis on the tuning optics provides the common thread connecting the wide range of laser systems discussed and makes it particularly useful to anyone using or constructing tunable laser systems. This Second Edition of Tunable Laser Optics extends the material presented to be applicable to quantum well, quantum cascade, and quantum dot lasers. These additions, as well as a discussion of Bragg gratings as a tuning element ensure this book is relevant to recent developments in laser physics."
—Dr Ian S Falconer, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Australia

"I like the examples given in the text… Even a physicist not expert in laser optics can replicate the examples, test the theory, and design such good lab experiments for students… The topics presented are well referenced and several results are shown with pictures and numerical data. … I think that this book gives a thorough review of laser optics with many worked out examples … These kinds of detailed descriptions of the experiments are not easy to find in a textbook."
—Ernesto Gramsch Labra, University of Santiago de Chile

"Dr. Duarte is the world’s foremost expert in the area of tunable lasers and has once again written what will become the standard reference for laser researchers. His use of the Dirac Optics notation for compact and concise tracking of the interferometers spectral tuning is not only brilliant physics but also brilliant pedagogically! … a definite must have for anyone interested in designing or understanding the physics and engineering of tunable laser systems. It will be a standard for both professionals and students alike!"
—Dr. Thomas Shay, University of New Mexico

"I want a copy of this book. Nowhere else is there such a clear and concise description of the Dirac-Feynman, and dare I add, Duarte, approach to diffraction and interference theory and applications. This is using quantum mechanics in a very pragmatic and useful way!"
—Dr. Travis S. Taylor, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command

"… concise, accessible, and comprehensive. It starts from the essential physics, and mathematically builds the fundamental equations governing the phenomena in a clear manner, with outstanding use of figures to illustrate the various points. Incorporation of numerous examples of experimental data alongside the analytical calculations provides an excellent grounding for the reader, and sets the material apart from other presentations I have seen."
—Kathleen M. Vaeth, MicroGen Systems Inc.