Another term for amplification, usually referring to the efficiency of a lasing medium in attaining a population inversion. High gain is typically more than 50% per pass of the light wave between cavity mirrors.
A laser containing a gaseous lasing medium in a glass tube in which a constant flow of gas replenishes the molecules depleted by the electricity or chemicals used for excitation. The discharged gas can be filtered and 90% recycled for economy.
An assisting coaxial gas, such as oxygen, argon, or nitrogen, which may be used to achieve very high power levels for cutting certain metals.
The “normal curve,” or normal distribution, an example of which is the symmetrical bell shape of the holes created by the uncorrected, unfocused laser beam in its optimum mode. A Gaussian laser beam has most of its energy in the center.