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What makes laser optics different from normal optics?

Laser optics are a group of optics that have been designed and manufactured for use in laser applications. Optical components used for more general purposes may be manufactured from more common glass types and may have broadband coatings or be uncoated to be compatible with many different wavelengths. Conversely, because lasers typically have very narrow wavelength ranges or wavebands (ignoring harmonics), laser optics materials and coatings usually contain more exotic materials which are used to optimize the component for the specific design wavelengths of the application. Moreover, there are a number of highly specialized applications which involve high-power or ultrafast lasers. These applications require laser optics components with extremely low tolerances for characteristics including absorption, dispersion, thermal conductivity, laser-induced damage thresholds (LIDT), surface quality, coating properties, and much more.

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