Course 2: Laser Systems and Applications, 2nd Edition (Evaluation Copy)

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Course 2, Laser Systems and Applications, is a two-semester course that deals with specific photonics systems and applies the principles presented in Course 1, Fundamentals of Light and Lasers. A Curriculum Guide, Faculty Guide, and online professional development are available for instructors

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Title: Course 2: Laser Systems and Applications 2nd Edition

Book Description:

Laser Systems and Applications, 2nd Edition is the student text and laboratory manual for a two-semester, hands-on course to support curriculum for educating and training photonics systems technicians. It is preceded by a one-semester course, Fundamentals of Light and Lasers . These materials are used in Associate of Applied Science (AAS) curricula in two-year colleges, as well as for educating employed technicians. Lasers are an “enabling technology,” which means that a wide variety of laser types are incorporated into systems for materials processing, medical applications, IT and communications, nanotechnology, defense, environmental monitoring, and other applications. Photonics Systems Technicians are needed to integrate, operate, maintain, repair, and calibrate these systems. Photonics Systems Technicians (PSTs) work in industries whose processes and operations require the extensive use of photonics devices to meet production or mission goals. PSTs frequently integrate photonics devices or subsystems into larger systems, where photonics is an enabling technology. PSTs have the responsibility of ensuring these photonic devices operate within prescribed specifications and are compatible and/or complementary with the entire integrated system. These technicians must know how these photonic devices operate and interface with the equipment or systems in which they are embedded. They must also understand how photonics devices and subsystems enable equipment and systems to accomplish specific tasks. These technicians must have broad, working knowledge and skills of electronic and electromechanical devices/systems, combined with their specialty knowledge and skills in photonics to efficiently and effectively operate, maintain, repair, and calibrate photonics subsystems, and integrate these subsystems into full systems. Safety Precaution The lasers that are studied in this course are rated “Class IV” for safety purposes. All laboratory activities should consider the safety precautions specified in the module, which comply with ANSI Z-136.1 and ANSI Z-136.5 Laser Safety Standards for Educational Institutions. A faculty member of the educational institution is required to receive laser safety training for certification as the institution’s Laser Safety Officer.

Course 2, Laser Systems and Applications, 2nd Edition, contains the following ten modules:
1. Laser Q-Switching, Mode Locking, and Frequency Doubling
2. Laser Output Characteristics
3. Laser Types and Their Applications
4. Carbon Dioxide Lasers and Their Applications
5. Fiber Lasers and Their Applications
6. Diode Lasers and Their Applications
7. Argon-Ion Lasers and Their Applications
8. Nd:YAG Lasers and Their Applications
9. Excimer Lasers and Their Applications
10. Systems Integration in Photonics


  • Complete indexes, located at the end of each module.
  • An “Acronym Glossary,” located at the back of the text.
  • Lab videos, showing setup, operation, safety precautions and some measurements.
  • Copies of all the figures used in the modules. A PDF and a PowerPoint version are available.
  • Student Assignment Videos: A listing of 5-8 minute videos that will further explain the content or demonstrate an application for each of the first 9 modules.
  • Student Assignment Questions for use with each video.

Laser Systems: Operating principles, output characteristics, diagnostics, and applications for the six most widely used laser types. All important lasers are described and classified according to their active medium, output wavelength, and applications.

Real-World Applications: Students want to know what skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in future jobs and what kinds of responsibilities they might be assigned in the workplace. This text has three features that address these interests and bring real-world context to its content.

Safety Considerations: Students must understand that a main consideration of any photonics technician is safety. Technicians working in the photonics industry are constantly exposed to a variety of radiation sources that can pose safety hazards. To eliminate or minimize these hazards, students must learn the safety protocols for these radiation sources and know how to implement them. To facilitate this learning, each module includes a special section called Safety Considerations. This section provides information on these protocols and explains to students technicians’ responsibilities in implementing them.

Troubleshooting Strategies: A prime skill that photonics technicians must master is troubleshooting. All students preparing for careers as photonics technicians need to study and practice the methodology of determining the source of failure in a system. The topic of troubleshooting is integrated throughout the course to provide students with basic strategies for determining the sources of failure in malfunctioning photonics systems and identifying common failure modes in various types of lasers. As they study these troubleshooting strategies, students will experience first-hand the work they will do as photonics technicians and will gain a sense of the skills and knowledge that employers will expect them to have.

Workplace Scenarios: These problem-based activities allow students to work in groups to generate solutions to problems that can arise in today’s photonics organizations. Students take on technician roles as they work together in teams to use the material in each module to develop strategies for completing assigned tasks. These activities also give students an opportunity to enhance their writing skills: many activities require a report written in the form of an e-mail message or memorandum. The scenarios are instructor-friendly with full solutions and instructor notes provided. Teacher Notes and Solutions for the Workplace Scenarios are available in the Laser Systems and Applications Faculty Guide which can be obtained by instructors only through OP-TEC at

Navigation Enhancements: Features and additions to supplement navigation within the text.

Acronym Glossary: A comprehensive listing of the acronyms found within Laser Systems and Applications. Acronyms are listed and defined in alphabetical order. The Acronym Glossary can be found after Module 2-10.

Module Indexes: Each module contains an alphabetical listing of terms and ideas contained within that module, and the page numbers where they can be found.

Author(s): University of Central Florida, National Center for Optics and Photonics Education

ISBN: 978-0-9858006-5-9

Publisher: OP-TEC

Year: 2016

Category: General Optics & Photonics

Recommended Grade Level: College – 2nd Year

For more information on this title, please contact:

OP-TEC: National Center for Optics and Photonics Education



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