In this chapter we will go through in detail the steps required to design a basic diode-pumped cw Nd:YAG laser. The purpose of this exercise is to understand in a pragmatic sense the considerations and trade-offs that must be made in designing this type of laser. This process will also establish a framework for the discussion of the more advanced concepts that are presented in Part III. In some cases, the choice of a particular component will be obvious from the outset, and reading through the material that describes different considerations and design trade-offs may seem tedious. But the selection of each component is used in this section as an opportunity to present a more detailed view of the design process, component by component. It is not simply focused on the design of one specific laser.
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