Refraction of Light Beam – Snell Law:
Reducing the velocity of light in matter, and reducing its wavelength, causes refraction of the beam of light.
While crossing the border between two different materials, the light changes its direction of propagation according to the Snell Equation:
Example: Wavelength in Matter
The velocity of Red light (l0= 0.6 [mm]) in a certain medium is 1.5*108[m/s].
What is the wavelength of this light in this material?
Solution to example:
First find the index of refraction:
Using n, calculate the wavelength in the material:
Conclusion: The wavelength of Red light in a material with an index of refraction of 2.0, is 0.3 [mm]
Bohr model of the atom.
Lasing action is a process that occurs in matter.
Since matter is composed of atoms, we need to understand (a little) about the structure of the atom, and its energy states.
We shall start with the semi-classical model, as suggested in 1913 by Niels Bohr, and called: The Bohr model of the atom.
According to this model, every atom is composed of a very massive nucleus with a positive electric charge (Ze), around it electrons are moving in specific paths.
Z = Number of protons in the nucleus,
e = Elementary charge of the electrons:
e = 1.6*10-19 [Coulomb]
Figure 2.1 illustrates a simple, but adequate, picture of the atom, the Bohr model:
Fig 2-1:Bohr picture of the Atom
Every “allowed orbit” of the electron around the nucleus, is connected to a specific energy level.
The energy level is higher as the distance of the “orbit” from the nucleus increases. Since for each atom there are only certain “allowed orbits”, only certain discrete energy levels exist, and are named: E1, E2, E3, etc.