Stimulated emission equation

Explore the stimulated emission equation, its role in laser technology, and an example calculation for a hypothetical laser system.

Stimulated Emission Equation: The Foundation of Laser Technology

Stimulated emission is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics that plays a pivotal role in the operation of lasers. It is the process by which an excited atom or molecule returns to a lower energy state and, in the process, releases a photon. This photon has the same wavelength, phase, and direction as the incident photon, resulting in coherent light amplification. In this article, we will explore the stimulated emission equation and its significance.

Understanding the Stimulated Emission Process

Stimulated emission can be described mathematically by the Einstein coefficients, which govern the probability of an atom transitioning between energy levels under the influence of an external electromagnetic field. The coefficients are denoted as Aji for spontaneous emission, Bji for stimulated emission, and Bij for absorption. The stimulated emission equation is as follows:

1. Rate of stimulated emission = N2 B21 ρ(ν)

In this equation, N2 represents the population density of atoms or molecules in the excited state, B21 is the Einstein coefficient for stimulated emission, and ρ(ν) is the energy density of the electromagnetic field at frequency ν. When the rate of stimulated emission exceeds that of absorption, a population inversion occurs, and a laser can be produced.

Population Inversion and Laser Action

Population inversion is a crucial aspect of laser operation, as it sets the stage for amplification of light through the process of stimulated emission. When more atoms or molecules are in the excited state (N2) than in the ground state (N1), population inversion is achieved. The condition for population inversion can be expressed as:

1. N2 B21 ρ(ν) > N1 B12 ρ(ν)

When this inequality is satisfied, the rate of stimulated emission surpasses the rate of absorption, leading to the amplification of light and the generation of a coherent laser beam.

Significance of the Stimulated Emission Equation

The stimulated emission equation plays a vital role in understanding the principles behind laser technology. It allows scientists and engineers to predict the behavior of atoms or molecules under the influence of an external electromagnetic field, and it serves as the basis for designing lasers with specific properties such as wavelength, power, and coherence. Additionally, the equation has applications in other fields such as quantum optics, spectroscopy, and quantum computing.

In summary, the stimulated emission equation provides a fundamental understanding of the processes that underlie laser technology. This understanding is crucial for the development of new lasers and their applications in various scientific and technological domains.

An Example Calculation for Stimulated Emission

Let us consider a hypothetical two-level laser system with the following parameters:

• Frequency of the electromagnetic field (ν) = 3 x 1014 Hz
• Energy density of the electromagnetic field (ρ(ν)) = 10-20 J/m3
• Population density in the excited state (N2) = 1025 m-3
• Population density in the ground state (N1) = 1024 m-3
• Einstein coefficient for stimulated emission (B21) = 10-19 m3/s/J
• Einstein coefficient for absorption (B12) = 10-20 m3/s/J

To calculate the rate of stimulated emission, we use equation 1:

1. Rate of stimulated emission = N2 B21 ρ(ν)

Substituting the given values:

Rate of stimulated emission = (1025 m-3) (10-19 m3/s/J) (10-20 J/m3)

Rate of stimulated emission = 106 s-1

Now, we calculate the rate of absorption using equation 2:

1. N1 B12 ρ(ν)

Substituting the given values:

Rate of absorption = (1024 m-3) (10-20 m3/s/J) (10-20 J/m3)

Rate of absorption = 104 s-1

Since the rate of stimulated emission (106 s-1) is greater than the rate of absorption (104 s-1), the population inversion condition is satisfied, and laser action can be achieved in this hypothetical system.

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