Laser dynamics: Modeling of ultrafast lasers
Although lasers have been extremely well studied since their first experimental realization in 1960, the advance of modern technology has allowed us to push their limits to new heights, and new speeds. We'll walk through the basic elements of a laser and the history of lasers before delving into one of the most promising modern laser designs, VECSELs, which are capable of producing pulses with kilowatts of peak power and durations of less than 100 femtoseconds. We'll discuss two modeling techniques for these lasers, a classical rate based model and the modern microscopic model, a hybrid PDE model which links Maxwell's Wave Equation to the quantum based Semiconductor Bloch Equations. For the latter model, we'll explore it's successes, complexities, and potential to help develop the next generation of laser technologies.