What Is the Difference Between Ordinary Light and Laser Light?

Both ordinary light and laser light are electromagnetic waves. Ordinary light is a mixture of electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths. Laser light is monochrome. Ordinary light is non-directional and inconsistent, while laser light shows directional and highly consistent distribution. This is the main difference between ordinary light and laser light.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - 07:05

Both ordinary light and laser light are electromagnetic waves.

Ordinary light is a mixture of electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths. Laser light is monochrome. Ordinary light is non-directional and inconsistent, while laser light shows directional and highly consistent distribution. This is the main difference between ordinary light and laser light.

Laser light is a focused beam in which all photons move at the same wavelength and in the same direction. Laser lights are spectrally pure. Ordinary light, on the other hand, is a wide spectrum of light that moves irregularly at different wavelengths.

Sunlight, fluorescent light bulbs and incandescent light bulbs are ordinary light sources. According to theories, any object with a temperature higher than absolute zero (0 Kelvin) emits electromagnetic radiation. This is the basic concept used in incandescent bulbs.

The term laser is an abbreviation for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

The main advantages of laser light are its consistency, directional distribution and narrow frequency range.

Ordinary light is natural, laser light is an induced emission. Ordinary light is inconsistent (not containing photons of the same frequency) whereas laser light is consistent. Ordinary light is diffused, while laser light is extremely directional. The coherence length of ordinary light is only a few meters. Laser light can travel hundreds of meters without being scattered. Since ordinary light is diffused, it cannot focus on a sharp point. Laser light can focus on a point with high intensity thanks to its directional structure.

The intensity of ordinary light decreases rapidly with distance. For this reason, you can look at the ordinary light source without harming the eyes. In contrast, laser light is emitted in a narrow beam. Since the energy is concentrated in a very narrow area, looking at the laser light with the naked eye can damage the eye.

Ordinary light sources are used for area illumination. Laser light is used in metal cutting machines, laser printers, eye surgeries, tattoo removal, barcode readers and fiber optic technology.

Today, lasers are used in many different applications, and more and more new applications are being developed every day.

Emre Yılmaz
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Emre Yılmaz, the founder of Lighting Portal, graduated from Atılım University Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2013, and since then has been involved in the management and product development activities of state-supported projects in the lighting industry. He completed his master's degree at Gazi University Industrial Design Engineering Department and continues his education in the doctorate program of the same department.

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