HeNe: The He-Ne Laser
This experiment explores the polarization, spatial and temporal coherence of the output of a He-Ne laser, as well as the basic conditions for laser action. Charles Townes (Nobel Prize 1964) and Arthur L. Schawlow (UofT BSc 1941, UofT PhD 1949, Nobel Prize 1980) invented the laser in 1958.
This experiment has just transitioned to new smaller HeNe tubes.
Write-Up in PDF Format or Microsoft Word Format.
(The experiment is currently located in MP242; last write-up revision: December 2011.)
- Ealing HeNe manual.
- Appendices I, II, III, V, and VI in PDF Format, Microsoft Word Format.
- Appendix IV is Chapter 1 of Principles of Lasers by O. Svelto, also available from Google books.
- Appendix VII refers to the Melles-Griot Gaussian Beam Optics guide.
- Instructions for Beam-Profiling using Image J.
- LEOI 101 Grating Spectrometer Instruction Manual.
- Heath EU-700/E Monochromator Instructions and Specifications.
- ImageJ, a free, cross platform image analysis package in Java.
- The story of how the first HeNe laser was built can be found in "Recollections of the First Continuous Visible Laser" by Alan D. White, in the October 2011 issue of Optics and Photonics News.
Optics Video Tips
From Prof. Robin Marjoribanks
- Finding second surface of an optic.
- Finding focus from speckle.
- Aligning a lens to a laser beam.
- Aligning a Beam Expander.
3rd year Arts and Sciences undergraduate and Varsity Blues volleyball player, Anastasia Danilova, working on an earlier version of the Helium-Neon Laser.