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Physics of Lasers

The process of laser emission has its foundation in the quantum theory of physics, in the model first postulated by Danish physicist Niels Bohr. In this model, atoms have separate energy levels. Anytime there is a movement from one level to another, there is a quantum of energy gained or lost.

Bohr's model of an atom

In the process of spontaneous emission of energy, an atom may be elevated from its stable state to an excited level by that absorption of a quantum of energy. That excited level is less stable, and the atom will tend to drop back to its stable state emitting the same quantum of energy it initially absorbed. In the process of stimulated emission of energy, an additional quantum of energy may be absorbed by an atom it its elevated state causing the release of two quanta of energy when the atom returns to its more stable stage. This process of stimulating or amplifying the emission of energy, first postulated by Albert Einstein in 1916, is the basis of laser transmission. Stimulated emission occurs when there are more excited atoms than atoms which are not excited.

How atoms resorb and release energy

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