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SK2411 Laser Physics 7.5 credits

Welcome to the Laser Physics course SK2411 !

Lasers have become indispensable part of the technologies which are used nowadays in research, industry and consumer products. The Laser Physics course SK2411 will give students understanding of the main underlying principles behind laser operation, will provide up-to-date guidance of modern types of lasers and will give sufficient theoretical and, importantly, practical knowledge for designing and building actual lasers. Substantial emphasis during the lectures will be placed to different applications of the laser technologies. Students will be able to apply directly their previous knowledge in basic physics, electromagnetic waves and quantum mechanics and see how this knowledge eventually leads to the laser engineering solutions used in multiple fields in the modern world.

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Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2411 (Autumn 2008–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Essentials of quantum-mechanical description of optical gain media, including atoms, molecules, and solid state materials.

Essentials of quantum-mechanical description of the of the interaction between photons and electrons in optical gain media.

Basic properties of lasers and photon amplifiers.

Physical principles of laser action.

Essential knowledge of laser building blocks.

Overview of the most important laser types.

Intended learning outcomes

Student after the course should be able to:

  • explain operational principles and construction of lasers
  • give an account of technological issues behind laser construction
  • describe optical components that can be used to tailor the properties of the laser
  • relate the laser operation principles to atom and molecular physics, solid state physics, quantum mechanics and physical optics.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Recommende previous knowledge:
Course in general physics (e.g. SK1100, ECTS 9 points), Course in quantum mechanics (e.g. SI2170 9 ECTS points), Course in quantum electronics including electrooptics (e.g. SK2400 12 ECTS points) 

Recommended prerequisites

Quantum mechanics atom physics, physical optics.


No information inserted


Svelto, Orazio , Principles of Lasers, Fourth edition (Translation by David. C. Hanna) Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, Springer (1998 or later) ISBN 0-306-45748-2

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


    Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

    The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

    Written exam (TEN1; 5,5 hp, grading scale A/B/C/D/E/Fx/F)Lab reports (LAB1; 2 hp, grading scale P/F)

    Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

    No information inserted

    Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



    Profile picture Valdas Pasiskevicius

    Ethical approach

    • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
    • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
    • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

    Further information

    Course web

    Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

    Course web SK2411

    Offered by

    SCI/Applied undergraduate Physics

    Main field of study

    Engineering Physics, Physics

    Education cycle

    Second cycle

    Add-on studies

    No information inserted


    Valdas Pasiskevicius (

    Supplementary information

    Replaces SK2410.

    English, on request, Swedish.