This tutorial simulates the discharge of a ruby laser with a xenon flash tube. Chromium atoms in the laser crystal are excited by a flash tube (not shown) and emit photons that are reflected back and forth between two mirrors at the ends of the laser crystal.

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As the photons traverse the crystal, they stimulate the emission of additional photons until enough energy is available for a pulse of photons to break through the thinly mirrored end on the right of the laser crystal.

Contributing Authors

Mortimer Abramowitz - Olympus America, Inc., Two Corporate Center Drive., Melville, New York, 11747.

Matthew J. Parry-Hill and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.