Damping of a Laser Beam: Understanding the Science and Equations

In summary, the question is about the equation that describes the damping or extinction of a laser beam passing through a medium. The primary source of loss at short wavelengths is Rayleigh scattering, which is dependent on particle density. The scattering cross section is related to linear loss through the exponential relationship P = P_0*e^(-/sigma*x). This information can be found on the Wikipedia page for Rayleigh scattering.
  • #1
This is a question for knowledge not for any assignment, but I was wondering what type of equation describes the damping or extinction that the light beam coming from a laser endures. I googled and couldn't find much although I may be using the wrong terminology. Could someone point me toward a reference or enlighten me on the subject?

I assume that the density of air will come into play as there will be more scattering and so will the distance but I can't find any equations or even begin to derive my own.

Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Net power loss will be determined by the loss induced by the medium that the laser beam propagates through.

Rayleigh scattering would be the primary source of loss at short wavelengths. Rayleigh scattering is indeed dependent on the particle density;


The scattering cross section is related to the linear loss the exponential relationship P = P_0*e^(-/sigma*x).

  • #3
That does the job, I can now make the calculations I wanted.. Thank you

1. What is damping of a laser beam?

Damping of a laser beam refers to the decrease in intensity or amplitude of the laser beam as it propagates through a medium or encounters obstacles. It is caused by various factors such as scattering, absorption, and diffraction.

2. How does damping affect a laser beam?

Damping can have a significant impact on the behavior and properties of a laser beam. It can reduce the power and coherence of the beam, change its spatial and temporal characteristics, and cause distortions in the beam's shape and profile.

3. What are some common techniques for damping a laser beam?

There are several methods used to damp a laser beam, including using optical elements like attenuators, filters, and polarizers to reduce the intensity of the beam. Another approach is to use active damping systems, such as electronic feedback loops, to control and stabilize the beam.

4. How can damping be beneficial in laser applications?

In some cases, damping can be useful in laser applications. For example, in laser surgery, damping can help reduce the potential for collateral tissue damage. In other applications, such as optical data storage, damping can improve the accuracy and reliability of data reading and writing.

5. What are the challenges in controlling damping of a laser beam?

Controlling damping in a laser beam can be a complex task, as it involves understanding and balancing the various factors that contribute to damping. These include the properties of the medium, the beam's wavelength and intensity, and the design and alignment of optical elements. Additionally, external factors such as temperature and vibrations can also affect damping and must be carefully considered.

Suggested for: Damping of a Laser Beam: Understanding the Science and Equations