Hänsch, Theodor W. Sektion Physik, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany. Nobelist.
Cataliotti, Francesco S. Department of Physics, University of Catania, Italy; European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Tunable sources
- Absorption spectroscopy
- Intracavity absorption
- Multiphoton absorption
- Fluorescence spectroscopy
- Raman spectroscopy
- Frequency mixing
- High-resolution laser spectroscopy
- Laser cooling of trapped Ions and atoms
- Coherent transients
- Picosecond and femtosecond spectroscopy
- Optical frequency synthesizers
- Other applications
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Spectroscopy with laser light or, more generally, studies of the interaction between laser radiation and matter. Lasers have led to a revolution of classical spectroscopy, because laser light can far surpass the light from other sources in brightness, spectral purity, and directionality; and if required, laser light can be produced in extremely intense and short pulses, far enhancing the possibility of observing nonlinear phenomena. The use of lasers can greatly increase the resolution and sensitivity of conventional spectroscopic techniques, such as absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, or Raman spectroscopy. Moreover, interesting phenomena have become observable in the resonant interaction of intense coherent laser light with matter. Some of these effects have become the basis for powerful spectroscopic methods, which offer unprecedented spectral resolution, or which permit the investigation of properties of matter that could not be observed previously. Laser spectroscopy has become a wide and diverse field, with applications in numerous areas of physics, chemistry, and biology.
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