Identification of optical parameters for determination of radiance

Pratik P. Shukla*, Jonathan Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The ‘brightness’ of coherent beams such as lasers is known as ‘radiance’ in radiometric terms. It is a concept which is rarely taken into account in laser material processing, laser system design, and for the characterization of laser beams. The typical beam parameters such as: laser power; spot size; intensity; wavelength; beam divergence and the beam propagation factor - M2, combined together are factors which determine the ‘radiance’ of lasers or energy beams in general. The concept of ‘brightness’ (‘radiance’ in particular), and how the laser beam parameters contribute to affect ‘radiance’, has not so far been reported in previous literature. Thus, we have investigated the theoretical ‘radiance’ for each parameter in relation to one another. In addition, a rather suitable empirical equation to determine the ‘radiance’ was also introduced herein, since, the existing equation for calculating ‘brightness’ do not employ the total power intensity of the beam. Based on this, we consider ‘power density’ rather than the ‘output power’ for determining radiance of a selected 1.064 μm wavelength Nd:YAG laser for a set laser processing parameter window. The analytical investigation firstly concluded that the inclusion of ‘power density’ into the equation takes in account of ‘spot size’ and ‘laser power’ to cover all laser beam parameters. Secondly, the results have shown wavelength to be the most contributory parameter to influence the radiance value followed by power density, M2, laser power and lastly the spot size of the laser beam. This was for a set-condition applied, but is generically applicable to different conditions and parameters, whereby, the same tendency would occur. This novel concept of brightness (radiance), of light sources such as a laser beam is not just useful for process control during laser material processing, but could prove to be a very effective concept for laser beam characterization, and in laser system design for enhancing the ‘brightness’ or ‘radiance’ of lasers. Also not just lasers but, the concept could be applicable for other energy beams in general.Publisher Statement: The final publication is available at Springer via
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12 -19
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Optics (India)
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • brightness
  • radiance
  • luminescence
  • lasers
  • beam characterization


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