In Reply to: ruby lasers are natural rubies ever used where cost not a issue? posted by juan on 10/07/02 at 5:36 PM:
From a LASER perspective, ruby is only a holding bin for chromium which is the active ingredient in a ruby laser of which natural rubies have little or none. Chromium is "doped" during the crystal growth process under a very tightly controlled process. the amount of doping is paramount to the proper operation of the rod and varies as to the application the rod is to be used for (e.g. medical-removing age spots and tatoos vs. industrial-drilling, etching, cutting, welding).
In short, natural ruby is incapable of achieving stimulated emission and therefore has no use in LASER applications (except to seed the growth of synthetic rods used in lasers.
I hope this answers your question.