Lasers have affected the human story. Through the use of lasers, we have been able to create almost unlimited high-speed global communication; modify materials ranging from the lens in your eye to carbon steel; and completely transform how our music, video, and data is stored. What’s next? Currently, emerging applications such as LIDAR and remote sensing are already changing the way we think about and advance our technology, improve industrial productivity, and create new opportunities.
In this course, you will analyze the design of a laser system, identifying the unique aspects of laser light that provide the power and accuracy needed to perform in the broad spectrum of applications. You will see multiple demonstrations of lasers, including all the parts of the system, and discuss how they are being used to solve complex productivity issues. You will explore the underlying fundamentals of how lasers work by calculating the energy and physics required to power and manipulate the laser beam for your own application or design goals, completing exercises modeled after real-world applications of the laser.
Key Course Takeaways
Explain the fundamental physics of a laser system
Develop a common language to work with technicians and engineers who use laser systems
Discover emerging applications and opportunities for laser technology
Describe a laser beam system's internal design and how to modify it for different applications
Ilda and Charles Lee Professor of Engineering, Cornell Engineering
Clifford Pollock is a professor of computer and electrical engineering, Cornell University. He was an NRC/NBS postdoctoral Fellow at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, CO where he participated in the development of a frequency chain that led to the adoption of a new international standard for the meter. He joined the Faculty at Cornell in 1983, where he has served multiple terms as Director of Electrical and Computer Engineering and currently teaches undergraduate computer and electrical engineering courses. In addition, Pollock maintains a research group of 3-4 graduate students, and is actively pursuing new solid state lasers for the infrared, and high power femtosecond pulse generation.
Pollock’s major research focus has been in tunable lasers, generation of ultrashort optical pulses, and the design of optical waveguide devices. He and his team developed a number of broadly tunable near infrared lasers based on color centers and on Chromium-doped materials, explored new materials such as composite optical lasers, and developed methods for using the large bandwidth of these lasers to make femtosecond pulses. Current research is directed at femtosecond-duration pulses of tunable radiation, novel infrared laser sources, and LED lighting.
Who Should Enroll
Laser technicians and operators
Biomedical, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, manufacturing, aerospace, and defense industry professionals
Entrepreneurs seeking to take advantage of opportunities with lasers
What You'll Earn
How Lasers Work Letter of Completion from Cornell Engineering