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Lasers - pumping

  1. Nov 4, 2003 #1
    What is the meaning of the term "pumping a transition" in relation to lasers?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2003 #2


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    The basic priciple of a laser is that a significant number of electrons can be "pumped" to an unstable orbital. This is referred to as a populaltion inversion. To "pump a trasisiton" is to cause this population inversion to occur. When stimulated by a photon all of the inverted population cascades to a more stable orbital, thus a laser beam.
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