From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process called stimulated emission. The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.[1][2] Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. More generally, coherent light typically means the source produces light waves that are in step. They have the same frequencies and identical phase[3]. The coherence of typical laser emission is a distinctive characteristic of lasers. Most other light sources emit incoherent light, which has a phase that varies randomly with time and position. Typically, lasers are thought of as emitting light with a narrow wavelength spectrum ("monochromatic" light). This is not true of all lasers, however: some emit light with a broad spectrum, while others emit light at multiple distinct wavelengths simultaneously