The solid state laser(opticaly pumped crystal laser) was the first laser type invented. The first one was built early 1960s and used a syntetic ruby rod as the lasing media. The lasing crystal in a solid state laser is a rod with a mirror in each end. One of the mirrors is semitransparent so some of the light may escape. This rod is then mounted in side a high power xenon tube.

         Xenon tube
         _     _     _
        / \   / \   / \
       | O | |   | |   |
 m      \_/   \_/   \_/     semitransparent
 i    .---------------------.  mirror
 r -- |    Crystal rod      ::::::::::::::::::::
 r    |                     ::::::::::::::::::::
 o    `---------------------'    beam
 r         /"\   /"\   /"\
          |   | |   | | O |
           \_/   \_/   \_/

When the xenon tube is triggered it will send a pulse of photons through the rod. This stimulates the atoms to send out photons. Some of these will be reflected by the end mirrors and stimulate futher photon emission. This light is coherent and monochromatic. After bouncing a few times the light will pass through a nonreflective area of the mirror and will be part of the beam.

This laser type is most used in reasearch since it is relatively expensive in relation with the Helium Neon Laser and the Laser diode

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