The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the science of laser systems and their applications. It includes the detailed requirements for laser action in various media with an emphasis on the materials and optical cavities necessary to generate the spectrum of laser emission wavelengths and temporal properties needed for current industrial and scientific use. The relationship between the structure/properties with the performance/applications of the lasers will be a common theme throughout the course. The laboratory component provides training in techniques specific to the creation and characterisation of lasers which are relevant to both industrial and research settings.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): PHYS3990. Students who have successfully completed PHYS3990 are not eligible to enrol in PHYS3310.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the requirements for a system to act as a laser.

2. Differentiate the various types of lasers and their means of excitation.

3. Relate the structure and properties of lasers to their performance and intended applications.

4. Assess which laser would best meet the need for a particular industrial or research task

5. Demonstrate competence in the use of various procedures and instruments for the assembly and characterisation of laser systems.

6. Apply the scientific process in the conduct and reporting of experimental investigations.

7. Demonstrate an awareness of the safety responsibilities involved in working with lasers.


  1. Classification of lasers.
  2. Optical cavities and the ABCD matrices.
  3. Properties and characterisation of lasers in solid, liquid and gaseous media.
  4. Australian Safety Laser Standards.
  5. Industrial and research applications of lasers.


This course replaces PHYS3990. If you have successfully completed PHYS3990 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Quantum Mechanics & Electromagnetism

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Reports

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks

Labs will be scheduled for 11 weeks of term, however students are only required to attend 8 weeks. More information about this provided by teaching staff at beginning of each teaching term.


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term