Date: April 2003
Why is the efficiency of most all lasers limited to .1% to 30%? What are the
limiting factors? What are some ways presently being researched to increase efficiency?
The mechanism of lasers involves somehow exciting atoms/molecules into an excited state, and
keeping them there while simultaneously irradiating them with a stimulating wavelength to cause
them to de-excite simultaneously. This is just not a very efficient process. It requires a lot
of energy input. I am sure research is on-going to make them more efficient, but it is not an
easy engineering/physics/chemistry feat. That is not to say that efficiencies will not improve,
but it is an up hill battle.
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Update: June 2012