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Anthony Siegman Stanford University

Lasers is both a textbook and a general reference book with an emphasis on basic laser principles and theory.

ISBN 978-0-935702-11-8
eISBN 978-1-938787-44-7
Publish date: 1986
1283 pages, hard copy


Lasers is both a textbook and a general reference book with an emphasis on basic laser principles and theory. A unique feature is that it gives a complete, detailed, and accurate treatment of laser physics, building only on classical models, without requiring the reader to have a quantum mechanical background. It is for all scientists and engineers who work with lasers.

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Lasers
2. Stimulated Transitions: The Classical Oscillator Model
3. Electric Dipole Transitions in Real Atoms
4. Atomic Rate Equations
5. The Rabi Frequency
6. Laser Pumping and Population Inversion
7. Laser Amplification
8. More on Laser Amplification
9. Linear Pulse Propagation
10. Nonlinear Optical Pulse Propagation
11. Laser Mirrors and Regenerative Feedback
12. Fundamentals of Laser Oscillation
13. Oscillation Dynamics and Oscillation Threshold
14. Optical Beams and Resonators: An Introduction
15. Ray Optics and Ray Matrices
16. Wave Optics and Gaussian Beams
17. Physical Properties of Gaussian Beams
18. Beam Perturbation and Diffraction
19. Stable Two-Mirror Resonators
20. Complex Paraxial Wave Optics
21. Generalized Paraxial Resonator Theory
22. Unstable Optical Resonators
24. Laser Dynamics: The Laser Cavity Equations
25. Laser Spiking and Mode Competition
26. Laser Q-switching
27. Active Laser Mode Coupling
28. Passive Mode Locking
29. Laser Injection Locking
30. Hole Burning and Saturation Spectroscopy
31. Magnetic-Dipole Transitions


“We call it the ‘bible on lasers.'”
-Robert L. Byer, Optics and Photonics, July/August 2014

“The classic pedagogical treatment of the subject.”
-Physics Today

“An extraordinary tutorial text particularly for use by graduate students as well as an invaluable reference for the seasoned professional.”
-IEEE Spectrum

“LASERS is a remarkably well written book that should become the standard introductory text on laser physics.”
-Optical & Quantum Electronic News

Anthony Siegman Stanford University

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