Synopses & Reviews
A vast amount of systemized experimental data and of theoretical results on chemical lasers is collected in this volume placing it inbetween a textbook and a handbook. An introduction by the pioneer and Nobel prizewinner N. Basov is followed by a presentation of the fundamentals of chemical lasers. Subsequent chapters deal with specific types of chemical lasers including the most recent developments opening the road towards ecologically clean lasers. The different chapters concentrate on laser systems based on chain pumping reactions in H2+F2 and D2+F2+CO2 mixtures; on pulsed lasers; on sw chemical lasers like DF-CO2 and supersonic HF gas-flow lasers as the best-developed lasers today; on lasers based on the transfer of energy from singlet oxygen to atomiciodine, and on photon-branching reactions.
The rapid development of lasers in the past few decades has led to their application in almost every field of science and technology. The idea that it should be possible to convert the energy released in chemical reactions of chemical lasers directly into coherent radiation resulted in the advent in the 1960s. These first chemical lasers, however, consumed much more energy to initiate the reaction than they emitted. The search for more ef- ficient chemical lasing led to the utilization of chain reactions. However, care had to be taken to maintain the appropriate pressure. In 1970, it was demonstrated that the operation of chemical lasers at atmospheric pressure was also feasible, making it easier and cheaper to construct them. One of the advantages of chemical lasers is the wide range of radia- tion wavelengths emitted by them: 1.3 - 26 m. The vibrational frequen- cies of many molecules fall within this range so that they may convenient- ly be used for the operation of such lasers. Progress in the development of chemical lasers is intimately con- nected with advances in related fields such as gas dynamics, chemical reaction kinetics, and research into the energy relaxation and transfer processes in molecular systems.