K-State Physicists Develop New Class of Lasers

Physicists at Kansas State University recently developed a new class of lasers. Associate professors Kristan Corwin and Brian Washburn along with graduate student Andrew Jones have been working on the project for about three years. Their new invention, which has a patent filed, is a class of lasers based on population inversion that uses gas-filled, hollow optical fibers. 

“Those fibers have the advantages that you can put something in the fiber and have light interact with the thing in the  fiber, in this case a gas, over a very long interaction length without a significant loss of that light,” Washburn said.

The project is being funded by the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Precision Photonics Corp. in Colorado and is in collaboration with Chris Levy in the K-State Chemistry Department, University of New Mexico and the University of Bath in the U.K.