Lesson Plan: The Components and Operation of Lasers Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the functions of the different components of a laser.


Students will be able to

  • describe the electron energy level structure of the active medium of a laser,
  • associate the emission and absorption of photons by electrons in ground, excited, and metastable energy level states with electron transitions between these energy levels,
  • define population inversion in the active medium of a laser as the state in which the medium contains more atoms in energy states higher than the ground state than atoms in the ground state,
  • explain why a metastable energy level of lower energy than an accessible excited energy level is necessary for population inversion to occur.
  • explain why the resonant cavity of a laser is necessary for amplification of stimulated emission.


Students should already be familiar with

  • spontaneous and stimulated emission.


Students will not cover

  • properties of laser beams.

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