How do lasers work
Laser technology basics
Every laser contains three components:
- An external pump source
- The active laser medium
- The resonator
The pump source allows external energy to travel to the laser.
The active laser medium is found on the inside of the laser machine. Depending on the design, the laser medium can consist of a gas mixture (CO2 laser), of a crystal body (YAG laser) or glass fibers (fiber laser). When the produced energy is subsequently lead to the laser medium through the pump, it emits energy in the form of radiation.
The active laser medium is placed in the middle of two mirrors, commonly known as the "resonator". One of these mirrors is a one-way mirror. The radiation of the active laser medium is amplified in the resonator. Having said this, only certain radiation can leave the resonator through the one-way mirror. This bundled radiation is what creates the laser radiation.