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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This webpage contains an interactive simulation that allows users to explore the physics behind lasers. Two simulations are available, the first showing the optical excitation of a single atom and the second showing the result of interactions between multiple atoms. The single atom simulation allows users to view a model atom absorbing and releasing photons. One and two energy level models can be selected along with the intensity the incoming radiation and the radiative lifetimes of the levels. The multiple atom simulation shows the population inversion and build-up of photons that can lead to lasing. Users can also control the energy levels of atoms and the reflectivity of the mirrors. The internal and output power production is shown. A link is included to a picture of a real laser, allowing users to compare the parts of the simulation to a real world example.

This page also includes sample learning goals, a teacher's guide and use-submitted ideas and activities for use with the simulation.

This simulation is part of a large and growing collection. It has been designed using principles from physics education research and refined based on student interviews.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Optics
- Modern Optics
= Lasers
Quantum Physics
- Bound State Systems
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Kinetics and Dynamics
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Informal Education
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
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Mirror:
http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/las…
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2005 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
Photon beam, laser, lasing, light, population inversion, stimulated emission
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 28, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
July 8, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2006
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers).
AJP/PRST-PER
PhET Simulation: Lasers (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Lasers. (2006, August 11). Retrieved July 29, 2014, from Physics Education Technology Project: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Lasers. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 11, 2006. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers (accessed 29 July 2014).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Lasers. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 11 Aug. 2006. 29 July 2014 <http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Lasers}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {29 July 2014}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Lasers
%D August 11, 2006
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 11, 2006
%T PhET Simulation: Lasers
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2014
%N 29 July 2014
%8 August 11, 2006
%9 application/java
%U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lasers


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Citation Source Information

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