© 2017

Basics of Laser Physics

For Students of Science and Engineering


Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. General Description of a Laser and an Example

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 3-15
    3. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 17-42
    4. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 43-55
    5. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 77-82
  3. Theoretical Basis of the Laser

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 97-118
    3. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 119-136
    4. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 137-178
  4. Operation of a Laser

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 181-193
    3. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 195-233
    4. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 235-244
    5. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 245-267
  5. Types of Lasers (Except Semiconductor Lasers)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 269-269
    2. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 271-289
    3. Karl F. Renk
      Pages 291-308

About this book


This textbook provides an introductory presentation of all types of lasers. It contains a general description of the laser, a theoretical treatment and a characterization of its operation as it deals with gas, solid state, free-electron and semiconductor lasers. This expanded and updated second edition of the book presents a description of the dynamics of free-electron laser oscillation using a model introduced in the first edition that allows a reader to understand basic properties of a free-electron laser and makes the difference to “conventional” lasers. The discussions and the treatment of equations are presented in a way that a reader can immediately follow. The book addresses graduate and undergraduate students in science and engineering, featuring problems with solutions and over 400 illustrations.


Bloch laser Gas lasers Laser oscillators Laser-matter interaction Optics and nonlinear optics textbook lasers Organic lasers Photonics and lasers Semiconductor heterostructure lasers Solid state lasers Lasers in engineering Optics and lasers explained

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Angewandte PhysikUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany

About the authors

Karl F. Renk received a diploma degree (1962) and a Ph.D. (1966) in physics from the Universität Freiburg, Germany. He worked as a Senior Research Physicist at the University Reading, Great Britain (1966/67) and as Wissenschaftlicher Assistant at the Technische Universität München (1967-72). From 1972 to 2006, he was a Professor of Physics at the Universität Regensburg, Germany, and since 2006, Professor Emeritus. He had visiting appointments at the Research Center Jülich (1974), High-Field Magnet Laboratory of the Max-Planck Society, Grenoble (1976), University of California, Los Angeles (1980/81), Université Scientific et Médicale de Grenoble (1985/86), and at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (1992) as a New Zealand Erskine Fellow. Professor Renk is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte. He developed the first Fabry-Perot interferometer for the far infrared (1962), later far infrared lasers and, finally, millimeter wave devices based on semiconductor superlattices and applied the techniques together with optical laser techniques to study dynamical processes of low-energy excitations in solids. The work is documented in about 250 scientific publications.       

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Energy, Utilities & Environment