Difference beween holography and photography

Last time I have discussed about the holography and written that it is a two stage process. The first stage is recording of hologram in the form of interference pattern and in the second stage, the hologram acts as a diffraction grating for the reconstruction beam and the image of the object is reconstructed for the  hologram.

Do you know what is the difference between hologram and photograph? If no, then let us discuss:

Difference between Holography and Photography Continue reading “Difference beween holography and photography”

Recording and reconstruction process in holography

Last time I have discussed the basic definition of holography and hologram. Today I will discuss the process with the help of which hologram is formed or complete picture is recorded:

1. Recording  of hologram. The recording of hologram  is based on the  phenomenon of interference.  It requires a laser source, a plane  mirror or beam splitter, an object and a photographic plate. A laser beam from the laser source is incident on a plane mirror or beam splitter. As the name suggests, the function of the beam splitter is to split the laser beam. One part of splitted beam, after reflection from the beam splitter, strikes on the photographic plate. This  beam is called reference beam. Continue reading “Recording and reconstruction process in holography”


The word holography originates from the Greek  words “holos” (complete) and “graphos” (writing). Thus, it is the technique to record the complete picture of an object. The technique was  proposed by Gabor in 1947.

An ordinary photograph records the two dimensional image of the picture because it records only the amplitude or intensity distribution. But in holography technique, both, the intensity as well as phase of the light wave is recorded.

In holography, the light  waves reflected from an object is  recorded. These light  waves  consist of intensity and phase  and the record is called a hologram. The hologram has no resemblance to the original object but it contains all the information about the object in a optical  code. Continue reading “Holography”

Applications of lasers

Lasers have applications in almost every field like medicine, industry, communication and science and technology. These applications are due to the directional, coherent and monochromatic properties of lasers.

a) Holography: Holography is a technique to record the complete picture of an object, that is it will produce the three dimensional picture. The process of holography will be discussed in detail later on.

b) Measurement of long distance: The beam spreading in the laser light is very small, laser can travel along distances, without appreciable spreading. The time taken by laser pulse to  travel from laser source to a given target and back is measured. As the velocity of light is known, the distance of the target can be calculated using the relation 2d =  c x  t where d is the distance of the target and c is the velocity of light. Continue reading “Applications of lasers”

Electro-optical shutters technique in q switching

In my earlier articles I have discussed the basics of Q-switching and three of its techniques known as mechanical shutters, rotating reflector method and passive shutters. Toady I will discuss the one more following techniques of Q-switching:

Electro-optical Shutters.

To obtain faster switching, the suitable electro-optical effects of altering the refractive index of a cell by applying an electic field is used. Two such effects are:

i)   Pockels effect

ii)  Kerr effect

i) Pockels effect. Continue reading “Electro-optical shutters technique in q switching”

Q-switching: The rotating reflector and passive shutters techniques

Last time I have discussed the basics of Q-switching and one of its techniques known as mechanical shutters. Toady I will discuss two more following techniques of Q-switching:

The rotating reflector method.

In this method of Q- switching, one of the  end mirrors of the cavity is replaced with a total reflection prism which  spins rapidly around its axis set at right angle to the resonator axis. As the prism revolves, it  faces the cavity with its reflecting  side and makes the laser cavity quality  factor Q high for a short time. When  the prism is out  of  this  position, the Q value drops. As it revolves on further rotation, Q value drops to minimum. Continue reading “Q-switching: The rotating reflector and passive shutters techniques”

Q Switching

Q-switching is a technique used to produce a high output pulse. It is accomplished by using a device to prevent the reflection of photons back and forth  in the active medium. This produces a  higher population inversion in the  metastable state. Then suddenly the optical cavity is opened to permit a large fraction of stored energy to be emitted in the form of very intense pulse of laser radiation. Q-switched lasers produce pulses of  10 to 250 nanoseconds.

Q-switching is also known as Q-spoiling.

As the quality factor Q of a laser cavity shows the ability of the cavity to store energy, thus, high Q means that high energy can be stored  in the cavity and a low Q means that the cavity will rapidly dissipate its energy. As the technique of Q-switching involves switching the optical cavity quality factor Q from a low to a high value, therefore, it is known as Q-switching.

Techniques of the Q-Switching : Continue reading “Q Switching”

Ouput and applications of dye laser

I have already discussed the construction and working of dye laser. Let us discuss the output and applications of dye lasers.

Output: The dye laser provides 3nsec pulses in the spectral  range of 360 nm to 950 nm. The typical peak powers are on the order of about 10kW to 20kW. Dye lasers can be operated in both pulsed and continue wave (CW) modes. If a flash lamp is used to pump the dye laser, the output will be pulsed one whereas if the laser is pumped by a continuous wave laser like argon-ion laser, the dye laser will also be continuous. Continue reading “Ouput and applications of dye laser”

Working of dye laser

Last time I have discussed the construction of dye lasers. Let us discuss the working of dye laser:

The molecules have singlet as well as triplet states. Each electronic  state comprises of several vibrational states and each vibrational state  comprises of several rotational levels.

Due to absorption of light from pumping source, dye molecules get excited from the ground state E1 to upper vibrational rotational levels of excited state E2 which is upper laser level. Most of the dye molecules decay to the lowest vibrational  level L of E2 in a time of about 10-11 seconds. This process is due to thermal redistribution in level E2, thus, it  is a non-radiative process. Population inversion is achieved at level L. Continue reading “Working of dye laser”

why dye lasers are also known as tunable lasers

The most useful feature of dye lasers is their tunability.  The tunability means that the lasing wavelength for a dye may be varied over a wide range.  Due  to this   reason, dye lasers are also called tunable lasers. Tuning over 500 angstrom has been obtained.

One of the teachniques to obtain tuning is to replace one of the mirrors  of the resonant cavity with a diffraction  grating. Thus a dye cell is usually placed inside a cavity consisting of a partially  reflective  mirror  on
the  front and a diffraction grating on the rear. A source light is focused onto the  dye to excite it and stimulate laser action.

By rotating the diffraction grating , wavelength of laser output can be altered. Thus tuning is obtained. Therefore, this combination of partially reflective mirror and diffraction grating will act as optical resonator system. For radiation to be reflected back along the  laser cavity axis, the angle θ that the normal to the diffraction grating makes with the cavity must satisfy the condition.

2dsinθ =nλ  (n = 1, 2, 3, …)

Where  d is grating spacing

Λ is wavelength of radiation.

By rotating the grating, angle θ will be changed and thus the output wavelength will be changed that is tuning of output wavelength will be achieved.

Reference: This article is referred from my authored book “Optics and lasers” having ISBN 978-81-272-3833-9. In case of any doubt in this article or any article of Physics, kindly post in the comment section. Try to make the construction figure. I will explain the working in the next articl