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Light Sources and Gas Laser

Module PH2024

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2017

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
SS 2018SS 2017SS 2011

Basic Information

PH2024 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2024 in the version of SS 2017 was Andreas Ulrich.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction to the physics and technique of light sources and gas lasers.

First, the physical fundamentals of atomic physics, such as the description of optical transitions and collision excitation of the atomic shell, and the fundamentals of molecular physics are repeated and extended and refined for application to gas lasers and light sources. There gas kinetic processes, such as recombination, energy and charge transfer and their quantiative description by rate equations will be presented. On the basis of these basic mechanisms the wide range of light sources is shown, with a focus on gas-discharge light sources. 

After that, the main laser schemes of gas lasers are discussed and their practical construction is explained, with the emphasis on technical relevant lasers. In the last part of the lecture, the current research in the area of excimer lasers and incoherent excimer light sources are discussed. If possible, an excursion, for example a visit of a laser manufacturer, will be organized to get insight into industry research. 

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module, the student is able to

  • associate the lines or bands in the emission spectra of atoms and molecules
  • to understand gas-kinetic processes and to describe it quantitatively with the help of rate equations,
  • to understand the underlying physics and the technical function of incoherent gas discharge light source
  • to apply the gas-kinetic processes in order to understand the functioning of the gas laser schemes
  • to design laser resonators and laser optics
  • to understand the current issue in the development of novel light sources and gas lasers and their applications, with the focus on excimer physics and vacuum ultraviolet radiation. 


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer and blackboard presentation, discussion


Beamer slides


  • Standard-Lehrbücher der Plasmaphysik und Optik,
  • CRC Handbook of Lasers,
  • Wiesemann: Einführung in die Gaselektronik,
  • Lengyel: Lasers,
  • Ch. Rhodes: Excimerlaser,
  • Eastham: Atomic Physics of Lasers,
  • Publikationen der Arbeitsgruppe zu VUV Excimerlichtquellen und deren Anwendung

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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