You didn't need to know this

…but you know you want to.

A primer on Lasers..

Does any of this help you use the Glowforge better? Probably not. But now you are more well equipped to dazzle the audience whenever you show off your new toy.


Very helpful. I had been unclear of pumping. In the case of the laser it is additional energy added to the gain medium. I hadn’t thought of it in terms of signal amplification.

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Maybe I’ll print this out to hand people who wander in our lab… :smiley:

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Ah, I’m a laser-newb, and this will be very helpful. I always like to know the theoretical underpinnings of what I’m about.


Looking forward to reading this, as well. I can use all the info. I can get.

It is super easy. You put special crystals in a metal tube, put a button on it, and you have a laser sword! Thats how lasers work.

FWIW I found this unnecessarily verbose. It’s correct but reads like a physics textbook! Jacob, I bet you could write a far better explanation…


ya after a few sentences I gave up and was like herm maybe someone can re write this

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Kinda want to hang the charts around the office walls. Thanks sir.

Potentially, but I tend toward extremes, unless I am familiar with my audience.

Either I assume the audience already knows everything, and I put up a mere refresher (read: useless to anyone not already up to date), or I assume the audience is kindergartner knowledge level but guru attention level and I wind up rather verbose.

The first set of comments includes a link to the MIT Open Course on Lasers. Poster of that claims is it quite nice (haven’t watched it myself)