Chapter

Basics of collisionally pumped astrophysical lasers

Vladilen Letokhov and Sveneric Johansson

in Astrophysical Lasers

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548279
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720512 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548279.003.0008
 Basics of collisionally pumped astrophysical lasers

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This chapter discusses collisionally pumped mid-IR and submillimeter masers/lasers, which form a connecting link between microwave masers and optical lasers. It reviews theoretical predictions of non-LTE situations with population inversions in atoms (ions) and molecules that were made in the 1970s and 1980s. The observations of mid-IR and submillimeter lasers were successful only for atomic hydrogen in MWC 349 (a hydrogen recombination laser) and CO2 in the Martian and Venusian atmospheres.

Keywords: collisional pumping; ions; helium; stellar envelopes; star-forming regions; hydrogen recombination; IR lasers

Chapter.  3951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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