UE Optics I: Lasers & Spectroscopy

Degrees incorporating this pedagocial element :


Today, lasers are found in both civil society and industry, as well as in the research world in the broader sense (optics, spectroscopy, imagery, metrology, fundamental physics). Their use is based on their intrinsic properties and requires a detailed understanding of laser physics. We will examine one of their first applications in research, spectroscopy, which has greatly benefited from advances in lasers and continues to do so today. 

1/ The basic principles of laser physics. A generic presentation of the operating principle of lasers, from the basic concepts (stimulated emission, population inversion, cavity, etc.) through to the semiclassical theory, which enables a satisfactory description of all the optical properties (coherence, power, dynamic behaviour, etc.) of different types of lasers.  A few scientific, medical and industrial applications calling on the specific properties of lasers will be studied.

2/ Spectroscopy. In this part of the course, a theoretical framework for laser-matter interaction will be developed in relation with the properties of molecular and atomic systems. There will be a discussion of spectroscopic techniques and their modern applications, such as their use in environmental or life sciences.


Electromagnetism (Maxwell equations in vacuum and in media), wave optics (interference and diffraction).


Les lasers, D. Dangoise, D Hennequin, V. Zhehnlé-Dhaoui Ed Dunod

Lasers, A. E. Siegman, University Science Book

Atkins’ Physical Chemistry 8th ed, Atkins, P.W., De Paula, J., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.