What are Transverse/longitudinal effects in lasers?

In summary, transverse and longitudinal effects in lasers refer to the properties of the laser beam in different directions. Longitudinal effects relate to the direction of the beam, while transverse effects relate to the perpendicular direction. These effects can include things like speckles, which are caused by the transverse properties of the beam.
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  • #2
Longitudinal means along the direction of the beam. As the beam travels forward with the speed of light, anything in this direction can be written either in the time domain, frequency domain (1/time, equivalent to wave length, ...), or in real space (speed of light * time).

Transverse means perpendicular to the direction of travel. This is a spatial direction related to things such as curvature of the wave front, physical source size, etc.
 
  • #3
Thanks for the answer! However the question was about what meant by effects, and not what is a transverse and longitudinal directions. Topic still unclear.
 
  • #4
As was pointed out elsewhere, the longitudinal and transverse properties of the beam are more or less independent from each other. Because of that they each have a set of effects associated with them, i.e. effects that arise because of longitudinal or transverse properties. Speckles, for example, were mentioned as transverse effect.
 

1. What are transverse effects in lasers?

Transverse effects in lasers refer to the phenomenon where the laser beam experiences changes in its shape or size as it propagates through the laser medium. These effects are caused by factors such as thermal lensing, diffraction, and spatial hole burning.

2. What are longitudinal effects in lasers?

Longitudinal effects in lasers refer to the changes in the laser beam's frequency or wavelength as it propagates through the laser medium. These effects are caused by factors such as gain saturation, mode competition, and frequency pulling.

3. How do transverse and longitudinal effects affect laser performance?

Transverse effects can cause changes in the laser beam's spatial profile, resulting in a decrease in beam quality and power. Longitudinal effects can lead to fluctuations in the laser output, affecting its stability and coherence. Both effects can impact the overall performance of the laser.

4. How can transverse and longitudinal effects be mitigated in lasers?

Transverse effects can be reduced by using a stable laser cavity design and controlling the laser medium's temperature. Longitudinal effects can be mitigated by careful design of the laser cavity and using a narrow linewidth gain medium.

5. Are there any applications that require considering transverse and longitudinal effects in lasers?

Yes, there are several applications where transverse and longitudinal effects play a crucial role in laser performance. These include laser spectroscopy, laser material processing, and optical communication systems. Understanding and controlling these effects are essential for achieving high-quality laser output in these applications.

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