General Information Edit

Introduction to the operation, physics, and application of lasers. Examples of coherent radiation to nonlinear optics, communication, and leading-edge research are frequently used.  Course concludes with a lab where students design and then build a laser.

Fall 2016 added semiconductor lasers as an additional topic.

Prerequisites Edit

ECE 3030 (Was not a Pre-req Fa '14, '15; Was a strong pre-req Fa '16)

Topics Covered Edit

  • Diffraction-limited Optics
  • Gaussian Beams
  • Cavity Design
  • Optical Resonators
  • Interaction of Radiation with Matter
  • Stimulated Emission
  • Rate Equations
  • Laser Design
  • Laser Characteristics (Mode-Locking and Q-Switching)
  • Survey of Different Conventional Lasers (Gas, Solid-state, Dye, etc.)
  • Semiconductor Lasers (Starting Fall 2016)
    1. Semiconductor Fundamentals
    2. Basics of Heterostructure, Quantum Well, Quantum Wire and Quantum Dot Lasers
    3. VCSEL

Workload Edit

  • FA14: 6 Homework assignments, 1 laser design lab
  • Fa15: 7 Homework assignments, 2 in class prelims, 1 final, 1 (canceled) laser design lab (write-up of designs submitted)
  • Fall 2016: 6 Homework Assignments, 2 Labs (extremely straightforward), 2 in-class prelims, 1 final

Advice Edit

There was no textbook offered in FA14, just scanned readings from various textbooks. The concepts can be difficult to understand sometimes, but make sure to go to office hours. Pollock is always willing to help. Laser design at the end of the semester is fun and rewarding, and will make you understand everything a little bit better. Write down every equation you possibly can on the exams.

Pollock is the man, pay attention in lecture as he uses simplified equations and not those used in the book. He focuses on developing intuition and not a rigorous math approach

Fall 2016 had a textbook that was religiously followed - Laser Electronics by Joseph Verdeyen (3rd Edition). Prof. Pollock handled majority of the classical Laser Design concepts, and Prof. Jena handled the second half of the course which dealt with Modes of Operations of the classical Laser and introduced Semiconductor Lasers. Prof. Pollock provides you with ready-to-use equations and notes on the board that can be copied directly. Prof. Jena focuses on the concepts and physics involved, in some great depth, and hence these may not be material that could be understood in the first hearing. Attend Prof. Jena's Office hours to discuss how all the concepts can be put to place.

Past Offerings Edit

Semester Time Professor Median Grade
Fall 2014

MWF 10:10-11:00

Clifford Pollock ?
Fall 2015

MWF 10:10-11:00

Clifford Pollock B+
Fall 2016

MWF 10:10-11:00

Prof. Debdeep Jena; Prof. Cliff Pollock A-
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