Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Yongchen Sun

Second Advisor

Jose Flores

Third Advisor

Douglas Goodman


LASER, light amplification, emission of radiation, thermopile

Subject Categories



LASER- Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation - can produce a very intense and powerful beam of light that is useful in many scientific and technological fields as well as in everyday life. Laser beams can be focused to a spot a few wavelengths in diameter. In this research project, a laser power meter that measures the amount of light coming from any laser was built using a thermopile.

A thermopile is alight detector which uses the effect that the absorption of light by the material causes a change in the detector material's temperature, resulting in a voltage difference across the ends of the detector material. The voltage generated across the thermopile is then used to determine the power of the incident light. The thermopile detector used in this research was studied and calibrated with a thermal source as well as with a Spectra-Physics Millennia V frequency double laser at 532nm with a 5W output.

As the field of optics is expanding and being applied to different fields of research, the finished power meter will be an asset to the physics and other natural science departments at USD, as it would be a useful tool for future laboratory and research work in optics in these departments.

Included in

Physics Commons



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