AbsorbanceThe ability of a medium to absorb radiation, depending on temperature and wavelength.
Absorption CoefficientThe amount of radiant energy absorbed per unit path length.
AbsorptionThe process by which light is absorbed and converted into other forms of energy.
AlignmentThe precise positioning of optical components to ensure optimal performance.
AmplificationThe growth of the radiation field in the laser resonator cavity.
Amplitude ModulationA method of transmitting signals by varying the amplitude of a wave.
AnisotropyThe property of being directionally dependent, which can affect the behavior of light in materials.
AnodeAn electrical element in laser excitation that attracts electrons from a cathode.
ApertureAn opening through which light travels.
AR Coatings (Anti-Reflection Coatings)Coatings applied to optical surfaces to reduce reflections and increase transmission efficiency.
AttenuationThe reduction in the power of a signal as it travels through a medium.
AutocollimatorA device combining the functions of a telescope and a collimator to detect small angular displacements of a mirror.
Axial-Flow LaserA gas laser with axial gas flow to replace gas molecules depleted by the electrical discharge.
Beam BenderHardware or optical device, such as a mirror, capable of changing the laser direction.
Beam DiameterThe diameter of that portion of the beam that contains 86% of the output power.
Beam DivergenceThe spreading of a laser beam as it propagates.
Beam ExpanderAn optical device that increases the diameter of a laser beam.
Beam ProfilingThe measurement and analysis of the spatial intensity distribution of a laser beam.
Beam QualityA measure of the laser beam's focusability and divergence, important for precision applications.
Bragg GratingA structure in a fiber that reflects particular wavelengths of light and transmits others.
Brewster WindowsTransparent optical material set at Brewster’s angle in gas lasers to achieve zero reflective loss of vertically polarized light.
BrightnessThe visual sensation of the luminous power of a light beam.
CalorimeterAn instrument that measures the heat generated by absorption of the laser beam.
CathodeThe element providing the electrons for the electrical discharge used to excite the lasing medium.
CavityThe space between the mirrors of a laser in which lasing action occurs.
Chromatic AberrationA distortion in imaging caused by different wavelengths of light focusing at different distances.
CladdingThe outer layer of a fiber optic cable that traps light in the core.
Coaxial GasShield of inert gas flowing over the work surface in laser welding to prevent oxidation and control heat reaction.
CoherenceThe property of light waves where the phase difference between the waves is constant.
Coherent LightLight waves that have a constant phase relationship.
Collimated LightLight rays that are parallel, allowing a sharp image to be focused.
CollimationThe process of aligning the light rays to be parallel.
Connector TerminationThe process of attaching a connector to the end of an optical fiber to enable easy connection and disconnection with other optical components or devices. This involves stripping the fiber, cleaving it, and then securing it within the connector housing. Proper connector termination is crucial for maintaining low signal loss and high reliability in fiber optic networks. Common types of connectors include SC, LC, ST, and MPO, each designed for specific applications and performance requirements.
Continuous Wave (CW)A laser emission mode where the laser emits light continuously.
ConvergenceThe bending of light rays toward each other by a positive lens.
CouplerA device that combines or splits optical signals.
CrosstalkInterference caused by overlapping signals in a communication system.
Cutting SpeedThe rate at which a laser can cut through material.
CW (Continuous Wave)The continuous emission mode of a laser, as opposed to pulsed operation.
Depth of FieldThe working range of the beam, a function of wavelength, diameter of the unfocused beam, and focal length of the lens.
Dichroic MirrorA mirror that reflects certain wavelengths while transmitting others.
DiffractionThe bending of light waves around obstacles and the spreading of light waves when they pass through small openings.
Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser (DPSSL)A solid-state laser in which the gain medium is optically pumped by a laser diode.
DispersionThe spreading of light pulses as they travel down a fiber due to different speeds of light for different wavelengths.
DivergenceThe angle at which a laser beam spreads as it propagates.
DriftUndesirable variations in laser output, either in amplitude or frequency.
Duty CycleThe length of time the laser beam is actually active compared to the entire work cycle time.
Edge QualityThe condition of the cut edge, influenced by laser beam control and motion stability.
Electromagnetic WaveA disturbance propagating outward from an oscillating or accelerated electric charge.
Electro-Optic ModulationThe modulation of a light beam by varying the electric field applied to an electro-optic material.
Embedded LaserA laser within a system whose class is higher than the system’s overall classification due to engineering controls limiting emissions.
EmissivityThe ratio of the radiant energy emitted by a surface to that emitted by a black body at the same temperature.
End-Face GeometryThe shape and finish of the end surface of a fiber optic cable.
Enhanced PulsingElectronic modulation of a laser beam to produce high peak power at the initial stage of the pulse.
EtchMarking material without cutting through it, usually achieved by reducing laser power.
Excimer LaserA form of ultraviolet laser important in microlithography and laser surgery.
ExcitationThe process of raising the energy level of an electron in an atom or molecule.
Far-Field ImagingAn imaging technique with solid-state lasers that has limitations like non-uniform energy distribution and short working distances.
Far-Field RegionThe region far from a radiating element where the angular field distribution does not change with distance.
Feed RateThe speed at which the cutting head moves during laser processing.
Femtosecond LaserA laser that emits pulses with durations in the femtosecond range (10^-15 seconds).
Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG)A type of distributed Bragg reflector constructed in a short segment of optical fiber that reflects particular wavelengths of light.
Fiber CleavingThe process of cutting or breaking an optical fiber at a precise angle and with a smooth, flat end face. This is a critical step in fiber optic splicing and termination to ensure minimal signal loss and reflection. Proper fiber cleaving is essential for high-performance fiber optic connections.
Fiber End CapA protective and functional element added to the end of an optical fiber. The end cap can be made of glass or other materials and serves several purposes, such as reducing the power density at the fiber tip to prevent damage, facilitating easier handling, and improving the fiber's performance in high-power applications. End caps are often used in high-power laser delivery systems and other demanding optical applications.
Fiber LensingThe process of shaping the end of an optical fiber into a lens to enhance its ability to focus or collimate light. This can be done using various techniques such as chemical etching, laser micromachining, or melting the fiber tip. Fiber lensing is commonly used in applications requiring efficient light coupling between fibers and other optical components or devices.
Fiber Optic SplicingThe process of joining two fiber optic cables together.
Fiber Optic TerminationThe preparation of the end of a fiber to allow for connection to other fibers or devices.
FlashlampA source of powerful light used to excite photon emission in a solid-state laser.
FluorescenceThe glow induced in a material when bombarded by light.
FluxThe radiant or luminous power of a light beam.
FluenceThe optical energy delivered per unit area. Its most common units are J / cm 2 (joules per square centimeter).
F-NumberThe focal length of a lens divided by its usable diameter, affecting beam focus and depth of field.
Focal PointThe point where rays of light meet after being converged by a lens.
Folded ResonatorA laser cavity construction with the optical path bent by mirrors for compact packaging.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)A technique used to obtain the infrared spectrum of absorption or emission of a solid, liquid, or gas.
Frequency DoublingThe generation of light with a wavelength that is half of the original wavelength.
FrequencyThe number of light waves passing a fixed point per unit of time.
Gain MediumThe active laser medium that provides optical gain through stimulated emission.
GainThe amplification of light intensity in a laser medium.
Galvo/GalvonometerA system used to direct the laser using mirrors to machine features in the material
Gaussian BeamA beam of electromagnetic radiation whose amplitude envelope is defined by a Gaussian function.
GratingAn optical component with a periodic structure that diffracts light.
Hard LimitA physical stop preventing a machine from moving beyond certain limits.
Heat SinkA device used to dissipate unwanted heat.
Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ)The area where the laser beam and metal surface are in contact.
Helium-Neon Laser (HeNe)A laser with a mixture of helium and neon, used widely for alignment, recording, printing, and measuring.
Hertz (Hz)The unit of frequency, equivalent to cycles per second.
Hold ToleranceThe precision level of laser cuts relative to a predetermined target.
HolographyA technique for recording and reconstructing the amplitude and phase distributions of light waves.
Incident LightA ray of light that falls on the surface of a lens or any other object.
Index of RefractionA measure of how much light slows down as it travels through a medium.
IntensityThe magnitude of radiant energy per unit, such as time or reflecting surface.
InterferometerA device that measures the interference of light waves.
Ion LaserA laser that uses a high discharge current to ionize a noble gas, creating a population inversion for lasing.
JouleA measurement of energy frequently given for laser output in pulsed operation.
KerfThe width of the cut or groove made by a laser beam, influenced by material properties and cutting parameters.
KeyholingDeep-penetration holes created in welding, filled quickly with molten metal.
Laser AblationThe process of removing material from a solid surface by irradiating it with a laser beam.
Laser AccessoriesHardware and options available for lasers, such as secondary gases and electronic shutters.
Laser DicingA process used to cut or separate semiconductor wafers into individual dies or chips. This method is highly precise and minimizes damage to the delicate semiconductor material.
Laser DiodeA semiconductor device that emits coherent light when an electric current passes through it.
Laser DrillingThe use of laser technology to create holes in materials. This process is precise and can be used to drill very small holes with high accuracy in various materials, including metals, ceramics, and polymers.
Laser EngravingA process that uses a laser beam to engrave or mark an object.
Laser HardeningA process where a laser beam is used to harden metal.
Laser MarkingThe use of a laser to engrave or etch text, logos, barcodes, or other identifiers on the surface of a material. This process is commonly used for labeling and traceability in manufacturing.
Laser MicromachiningThe use of lasers to machine small features with high precision on various materials.
Laser MillingA subtractive manufacturing process that uses laser technology to remove material from a workpiece, creating intricate 3D shapes and patterns. This process is highly accurate and can be used to machine hard materials.
Laser OscillationThe buildup of the coherent wave between laser cavity end mirrors.
Laser PatterningA technique that uses lasers to create specific patterns on the surface of a material. This method is often used in the manufacture of electronics and other high-precision components.
Laser PulsingThe emission of laser light in short bursts or pulses.
Laser PumpingEnergy transfer from an external source to the gain medium to achieve population inversion for lasing.
Laser RodA solid-state, rod-shaped lasing medium excited by a source of intense light.
Laser ScribingA technique used to create fine lines or grooves on a material's surface. Laser scribing is often used in the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries for cutting and patterning wafers.
Laser SlittingThe use of a laser to cut narrow slits in a material. This process is commonly used in the production of films, foils, and other thin materials, providing clean and precise cuts.
Laser TexturingThe process of using a laser to modify the surface texture of a material. This can improve surface properties such as adhesion, friction, and appearance, and is used in various industrial applications.
Laser WeldingThe use of a laser to join materials together.
Leading Edge SpikeThe initial pulse in a series of pulsed laser emissions.
LensAn optic used to focus or shape a laser beam.
Light AmplificationThe process of increasing the intensity of light.
Light Emitting Diode (LED)A semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it.
LightElectromagnetic radiation detectable by the human eye, with a wavelength range of about 400 to 750 nanometers.
LithographyA method for patterning a surface using light or electron beams.
LuminanceThe luminous flux per unit area on a receiving surface.
Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA)A system consisting of a master laser and an optical amplifier to boost output power.
Meniscus LensA lens with one side convex and the other concave, used in CO2 lasers.
ModeThe arrangement or condition for laser operation, such as continuous emission or pulses.
Mode-LockingA technique in laser physics that generates ultrashort pulses.
ModulationThe ability to superimpose an external signal on the output beam of the laser.
Monochromatic LightLight that consists of a single wavelength.
Nanometer (nm)A unit of length equal to one billionth of a meter, used to represent wavelength.
NanophotonicsThe study and application of light on the nanometer scale.
NdYAG Laser
NEMANational Electrical Manufacturers’ Association, defining safety standards for electrical equipment.
Nonlinear OpticsThe branch of optics that describes the behavior of light in nonlinear media.
NozzleA component directing assist gas to the cutting zone, affecting cut quality and efficiency.
Numerical Aperture (NA)A measure of the ability of a fiber to collect light, affecting resolution and light-gathering ability.
Optical AmplifierA device that amplifies an optical signal directly, without converting it to an electrical signal.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)A non-invasive imaging technique using light waves to take cross-section pictures.
Optical Density (OD)A measure of a filter's effectiveness in reducing light transmission at specific wavelengths.
Optical DensityA measure of how much a material can absorb light.
Optical Fiber AssemblyA complete system of optical fibers, connectors, and other components that are assembled and configured to transmit optical signals. This assembly typically includes optical fibers, protective coatings, connectors, splices, and sometimes additional elements like splitters or couplers. Optical fiber assemblies are used in various applications such as telecommunications, data communications, medical equipment, and industrial systems.
Optical FiberA filament of optical material capable of transmitting light.
Optical InterconnectsConnections using optical fibers to transmit data between devices.
Optical ModulationThe process of varying a property of light to encode information.
Optical PumpingExciting the lasing medium by the application of light.
Optical ResonatorA cavity in which light is confined and allowed to oscillate.
Optical SwitchA device that selectively switches optical signals from one channel to another.
OptoelectronicsThe study and application of electronic devices that source, detect, and control light.
Output CouplerThe resonator mirror that transmits light.
Output PowerThe energy per second emitted from the laser in the form of coherent light.
Oxygen AssistUsing oxygen in laser cutting to enhance cutting speed through an exothermic reaction.
Peak PowerThe maximum power delivered during a laser pulse.
PhotonThe elemental unit of light in quantum theory.
PlasmaA metal vapor formed above the spot where the laser beam reacts with the metal surface.
PolarizationRestriction of the vibrations of the electromagnetic field to a single plane.
Population InversionWhen more molecules are in a metastable state than in the ground state, necessary for lasing.
Positioning ToleranceThe precision of part placement or cutting pattern in CNC-controlled laser systems.
Power DensityThe amount of radiant energy concentrated on a surface.
Power MeterA device used to monitor laser beam power.
Power RampingA controlled change in the power level of a laser beam.
Pulse EnergyThe power of a single, brief emission from a laser programmed for pulsed behavior.
Pulse FrequencyThe rate at which laser pulses are generated, measured in Hertz (Hz).
Pulsed Laser DepositionA thin film deposition technique where a high-power pulsed laser beam is focused inside a vacuum chamber to strike a target of the material to be deposited.
Q-SwitchA device that controls the quality factor of a laser resonator to produce high-peak-power pulses.
Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL)A type of semiconductor laser that emits in the mid- to far-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Raman EffectEnergy transfer between a photon and the vibrational/rotational energy of a molecule.
Raman ScatteringThe inelastic scattering of photons by molecules, used in Raman spectroscopy.
ReflectanceThe ratio of reflected flux to incident flux.
ReflectionThe return of light waves from a surface.
RefractionThe bending of incident rays as they pass from one medium to another.
Refractive IndexA dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through a medium.
Repeatability ToleranceThe ability of a laser system to consistently reproduce the same cutting pattern or part placement within specified precision limits.
ResolutionThe ability of an optical instrument to produce separable images of different points.
ResonatorThe mirrors making up the laser cavity containing the laser rod or tube.
Rotating LensBeam delivery in a circular movement for cutting large-diameter holes.
ScannerSee Galvo/Galvonometer
ScintillationRapid variations in light intensity due to atmospheric turbulence.
Single-Mode FiberAn optical fiber designed to carry light only directly down the fiber - the transverse mode.
Soft LimitA software-defined boundary preventing a laser cutting machine from exceeding specific motion limits.
SpectroscopyThe study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.
Spot SizeThe diameter of the laser beam's focal point, influencing power density and cutting precision.
Stimulated EmissionEmission of photons when an excited atom is stimulated by another photon.
Supercontinuum GenerationThe generation of a broad spectrum of light by passing intense light through a nonlinear medium.
TEM (Transverse Electromagnetic Mode)The cross-sectional shape of the working laser beam.
Thermal LensingThe distortion of a laser beam caused by heating of the medium through which it passes.
ThresholdThe point where lasing begins during the excitation of the laser medium.
Total Internal ReflectionThe phenomenon that occurs when a propagating wave strikes a medium boundary at an angle larger than the critical angle.
Transformation HardeningA process of hardening metal by heating, quenching, and solidifying.
TransmittanceThe fraction of incident light that passes through a material.
Trepanning the BeamRelative motion of the beam with respect to the part, usually in a circular fashion.
Ultrafast LaserA laser that emits pulses with durations in the picosecond or femtosecond range.
Ultraviolet (UV) LaserA laser that emits light in the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA)A device used to reduce the power level of an optical signal.
Visible Light TransmissionThe amount of visible light that passes through a filter.
WaveA form of movement by which radiant energy travels.
WaveguideA structure that guides electromagnetic waves, such as light, with minimal loss of energy by restricting expansion to one dimension or two.
Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)A technology that combines multiple optical signals on a single fiber by using different wavelengths of laser light.
WavelengthThe fundamental property of light determining its color.
WindowA piece of glass with plane parallel sides that admits light into or through an optical system.
Zinc Selenide (ZnSe)A material commonly used for making optical components such as lenses and windows for infrared applications.