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Technology Literature > Laser nomenclature > Glossary 1

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Laser An acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser is a cavity, with mirrors at the ends, filled with material such as crystal, glass, liquid, gas or dye. A device which produces an intense beam of light with the unique properties of coherence, collimation and monochrome.
Lenses A curved piece of optically transparent material which depending on its shape, is used to either converge or diverge light.

Longitudinal Mode

Determines the wavelength bandwidth produced by a given laser system controlled by the distance between the two mirrors of the laser cavity. Individual longitudinal modes are produced by standing waves within a laser cavity.
M2 M2 is a beam quality index that measures the difference between an actual beam and the Gaussian beam.
Mode A term used to describe how the power of a laser beam is geometrically distributed across the cross section of the beam. Also used to describe the operating mode of a laser such as continuous or pulsed.
Modulation

The ability to superimpose an external signal on the output beam of the laser as a control.

Nd:YVO4 Laser

A solid-state laser of Neodymium: Yttrium Vanadium Oxide, similar to Nd:YAG but with the characteristics of higher gain and shorter upper state lifetime.

Optical Density

Protection factor provided by a filter (such as used in eyewear, viewing windows, etc.) at a specific wavelength. Each unit of OD represents a 10x increase in protection.

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