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Q-switching is a method to generate laser pulses with a short pulse duration and high peak power. In this method, the fast, giant pulse is generated by allowing the pumping process to build up a population inversion and gain inside the laser cavity without oscillations, which are larger than the normal values under free-running operation. This is done by lowering the quality factor Q of the laser cavity by introducing losses inside the laser cavity for a predetermined time duration. The quality factor of an oscillator is defined as the ratio of the energy stored in the cavity to the energy loss per cycle or per unit angular frequency v0.
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