Course Info | Class Notes | Evaluation / Check Marks | Labs
The nature of light itself as well as the atomic processes leading to light production, the mechanisms of incoherent light production, as well as the fundamentals of laser action will be examined. Incoherent sources of emission including blackbody radiators, gas discharges, and semiconductor sources will be studied and modeled and spectroscopic emissions analyzed. For an atomic system quantum mechanics will be used to model energy levels and transitions (hence predicting the emission spectrum). Most importantly, the basic mechanics of lasers will be covered including the quantum processes involved, concept of laser gain, excitation mechanisms, and optical resonators. Mathematical models of laser action, based on rate equations, will be developed allowing computation of thresholds (e.g. gain) and prediction of performance. The concept of laser gain and saturation will be examined, both in theory and in the lab. An intensive laboratory component allows students to explore course material in a practical hands-on manner.
In this course students will build their own laser using custom helium-neon plasma tubes with antireflective windows in place of the usual integral mirrors. External optics allow students to align the cavity as well as insert intra-cavity optics such as a variable loss used to measure the gain of the laser - in this case the output coupler is inside the kinematic mount with two adjustment screws visible. The beam is made visible in this photo by using a commercial fog machine. This photo is, of course, the cover photo of the text used in the course (Photo © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, publishers).
DO NOT CONTACT THE PROFESSOR until you read the email on Blackboard first.
Check your marks here
NOTE: these are UNOFFICIAL marks to be used only for the guidance of students as the term progresses. Official marks will appear on your transcript at the end of the term.
Course policies follow the Standardized Policies and Procedures for CEE (dated January 2011). In summary:
Complete course policies can be found in the Teaching and Learning Plan (T&LP) document found on Blackboard.
Chapters 1 to 5 and 9 are covered in this course. The rest of the text is covered in the next course
Unit 1: Light and Atomic Emission (Chapters 1&2 of the text)
Unit 2: Quantum Mechanics (Chapter 3 of the text)
Unit 3: Introduction To Lasers (Chapter 4 of the text)
Unit 4: Mathematical Modelling of Lasing Transitions and Mechanisms (Chapter 5 of the text)
In the next course, resonators will be examined and modelled (both using sum-of-losses and distributed loss techniques), short-pulse techniques (Q-switching and modelocking) and non-linear optics (harmonic generation) will be examined in detail. Specific mechanisms of various lasers including ion, nitrogen and excimer, carbon-dioxide, YAG (including DPSS) and ruby lasers will be examined.
There are five labs in this course. Lab sessions are two-hours in length and individual labs can span up to three consecutive lab periods. Labs for this course emphasize both proficiency in manual skills required of a technician (e.g. the ability to use laboratory equipment, align optics and lasers, and take measurements of a system to characterize it) and experimental proof of concepts from the lectures. Reports will be submitted for each lab with an emphasis on results and observations.
In line with departmental policies, the lab portion of this course MUST be passed SEPARATELY from the theory portion in order to pass this course. Late labs result in an immediate mark of ZERO with no exceptions and no excuses accepted (including the now infamous "my printer ran out of ink" and "my computer died"). Failure to submit a lab (and a late lab is considered failed and will receive a mark of zero) will result in the student being placed on course condition. Failure to submit a second lab results in immediate EXPULSION from the course.
|WARNING: You must pass the lab portion of the course separately from the theory portion in order to pass the course. Submission of late labs, or failure to submit any lab, will result in the student being placed on course condition - subsequent failure to submit labs on-time will result in automatic and immediate expulsion from the course (as discussed on the first day of classes): see the TL&P on Blackboard for details.|
|NOTE: While observed results (numbers only) may be identical for more than one student, no other portions of the lab are to be shared. Where procedures, analysis, graphs, and/or conclusions are suspected to be plagiarized, labs will be submitted to the dean's office and all students involved will receive a mark of zero. "Sharing" answers and analysis often equates to "Plagiarism" which is academic misconduct and will be treated accordingly.|
Lab 1: Introduction To Spectroscopy
The emissions of various light sources are analyzed using two types of grating instruments. Emissions from broadband sources such as incandescent and fluorescent sources are first analyzed using a manual spectroscope, after a suitable (and involved) calibration procedure. In the case of the fluorescent lamp, each observed line and band is assigned to the component source in the lamp. Atomic spectra from several pure gases in spectrum tubes (Hydrogen and Neon) are also analyzed. Finally, students will be given an unknown spectral source (a spectrum tube with an unknown gas) and be required to identify the gas via its spectral emissions using a high-resolution computer-based Ocean Optics spectrograph.
Lab Weighting: 2.0
Part A&B on week 2 (week of 2012/09/10) - Prelab also due at this time; Part C&D on week 3 (week of 2012/09/17)
Full Lab Report due at the beginning of the lab on week 4 (starting 2012/09/24). Failure to submit this lab BEFORE on ON the due date and time will result in an immediate ZERO on the lab and placing of the student on course condition (meaning one more late or missing lab results in immediate EXPULSION from the course without recourse).
PRELAB due on entry to first lab period (week 2)
Example Lab 1 Marking Scheme example
Lab 2: Advanced Spectroscopy
A lab in which practical skills aimed at using various spectrometers will be developed and students will research the basic principles of these spectrometers. Students will use a manual (single beam) spectrometer in the first part of the lab (a Coleman-20) and both a Perkin-Elmer Lambda-3B dual-beam automated spectrograph in the second part of the lab. The operation of the single-beam, manual unit (Coleman-20) and the Dual-beam unit (Lambda 3B) will be compared, especially with respect to use of each for analytical processes. Skills developed in this lab will be employed in numerous courses (including PHTN9190: Thin film and High Vacuum next term).
Lab Weighting: 1.0
Lab on week 4 (2012/09/24)
Condensed Lab Report (with questions) due on week 5
There are no labs on week 5 however LAB #2 is DUE at the beginning of the regular lab period. In addition, the first hour of the WEDNEDSAY LAB PERIOD at 10:30 is open to ALL students for a Midterm review.
Lab 3: HeNe Lasers
Basic electronics and laboratory skills will be developed while investigating the operation of the helium-neon gas laser. Students will wire a 'bare' gas laser tube to a power supply. As part of an assignment, optical and electrical characteristics will be investigated and students will be introduced to application of the gain threshold equation.
Lab Weighting: 2.0
Lab on week 6 and 7 (2012/10/08 and 2012/10/15)
Condensed Lab Report (with questions) due on week 9 (2012/10/29)
PRELAB due on entry to first lab period (week 6 - 2012/10/08)
Lab 4: Gas Laser Cavity Optics
A 'bare' helium-neon gas laser tube with completely external optics will be setup and the mechanics of this laser will be studied. The student will build the entire optical resonator on an optical breadboard and align cavity optics. Various electromagnetic modes (TEMxx) will be observed when aligning the optics. Next, gain will be determined by inserting a glass slide intra-cavity at various angles. This glass slide will render a loss ranging from close to 0% at Brewster's angle (polarized) to 8% at perpendicular. By summing all losses in the laser gain may be determined.
Lab Weighting: 2.0
Part A on week 9 (Week of 2012/10/29)
Part B on week 10 (Week of 2012/11/05)
Part C on week 11 (Week of 2012/11/12)
Full Lab Report due at the beginning of the lab period on week 12 (2012/11/19)
Lab 4 Example marking Scheme
Lab 5: Lasing threshold of a Semiconductor Laser
In the lab, several key physical parameters of a commercial-grade semiconductor diode laser are determined and from these a model is developed to predict the threshold current of the device (following question 5.9 on page 158 of Csele). A mathematical simulation of the diode will also be built allowing prediction of key operational parameters of the device.
Lab Weighting: 2.0
Lab on week 13 (Week of 2012/11/26)
Condensed Lab Report (with questions) due on week 14 (2012/12/03)
For the Advanced Lasers programs ...
Program Coordinator Alexander McGlashan
Telephone (905) 735-2211 x.7513
For this specific course ...
Some images and text excerpted from Fundamentals of Light Sources and Lasers by Csele, John Wiley & Sons, 2004, ISBN 0-471-47660-9 and hence are Copyright © John Wiley and Sons. Further reproduction in any form is prohibited without written approval from the publisher.