Sam's Laser FAQ

Welcome to Sam's Laser FAQ!

This collection of documents, called "Sam's Laser FAQ", has a great deal of practical information on a variety of laser related topics. If you are already familiar with its scope, purpose, and general organization, you can go directly to Sam's Laser FAQ Table of Contents. However, if this is your first visit - or you have been away for awhile - check out the summary and version update info below.

Basic laser principles, laser safety, general laser information, laser instruments and applications, laser and parts sources, laser discussion groups and newsgroups, and many references, and links. There is even a list of laser experiments and projects. (The descriptions are somewhat sparse at the moment but there are also links to other related Web sites.)

Diode, Helium-Neon (HeNe), Argon/Krypton (Ar/Kr) Ion, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Helium-Cadmium (HeCd), and Pulsed and Diode Pumped Solid State (SS) laser characteristics, drive requirements, and power supply design considerations. Schematics for at least 25 diode laser drivers, 40 complete HeNe laser power supplies, 6 complete Ar/Kr ion laser power supplies, and 6 pulsed SS laser power supplies, as well as many other support circuits like regulators and modulators.

Operation, internal construction (optical and electrical), adjustment, and repair of a variety of commercial lasers of all types including Coherent, Melles Griot, Spectra-Physics, Uniphase, and others. The detailed information on some lasers including the Coherent 532 and Compass-M, Lightwave 142 and 221, Melles Griot 05-GSD-309, and Uniphase uGreen, cannot be obtained from any other publicly accessible source on-line or in print.

Amateur laser construction (building lasers from raw materials rather than from laser components). Extensive material on getting started in this exciting and challenging pastime (often a great deal of time!) as well as complete descriptions - with diagrams - of the home-built lasers from the Scientific American "Amateur Scientist" columns (and the collection "Light and its Uses") and other sources.