Active laser medium

From Academic Kids

Within a laser, the active laser medium is the material that exhibits optical gain. This gain is generally generated by stimulated emission on electronic or molecular transitions to a lower energy state, starting from a higher energy state to which it had been previously stimulated by means of a pump source.

Examples of active laser media include:

Pumping of gain media (i.e., the supply of energy) can be achieved with electrical currents (e.g. in semiconductors, or in gases via high-voltage discharges) or with light, which may be generated with discharge lamps or with other lasers. More exotic gain media can be pumped by chemical reactions, nuclear fission, or with high-energy electron beams.

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