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New Infrared Laser Concepts

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Semiannual technical rept. 1 Dec 1975-31 May 1976

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A study of the possibilites of tunable high power gas lasers is being carried out at the University of Washington. These lasers are also characterized by high energy storage density and are suitable for efficient short pulse operation. This class of lasers is based on the use of homonuclear molecules which normally do not have an infrared radiation spectrum, except under special conditions when collisionally induced dipoles introduce both absorption and emission spectra. These lasers exhibit exceptionally broad band characteristics, low gain and high saturation power. As part of this interest, the possibilites of lasing homonuclear moleculear molecules such as H2 or N2 directly without the use of permanent dipole additives is being studied. Basically the idea is to produce an inversion in a gas by a high-pressure e-beam-stabilized electric discharge and then induce radiative transitions via collision partners or electric discharge and then induce radiative transitions via collision partners or electric fields. Of the many molecular possibilities, H2 has been chosen as a likely candidate for such a laser because of its relatively short wavelength transitions 2.8 micrometers and easily achieved population inversion. The induced dipole laser collisional or external electric field induced represented by this study will be a unique laser. The physics of this laser are different in many ways to more conventional lasers and the laser system would show these differences. For example, the extremely wide bandwidth is a consequence of collisional phenomena at high pressures and not apparent in conventional lasers.

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  • Lasers and Masers

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