Laser - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation is a very useful optical source, as it can produce light of a very pure color which is highly coherent in time and space, so each part of the beam is identical. This makes it useful for measurement and analysis and gives very predictable and efficient propagation through many optical systems.
An active medium is pumped to excite ions, storing energy temporarily, and these ions will spontaneously emit this energy at some later time. Although the spontaneous emission is in all directions by putting reflectors at each end of the cavity inside a laser, light can be made to circulate back and forth, encouraging stimulated emission along this direction, which reduces the power radiated in other directions.
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Related Terms: Absorption, Amplified Spontaneous Emission, Energy, Erbium Doped Fiber (EDF), Erbium, Laser, Stimulated Emission, Ytterbium