These high energy photons are then focused to a small spot (much like you did at school when you used a magnifying glass to focus the sunlight to burn things!). If it is a vector laser, this beam is deflected and directed using a pair of mirrors (X and Y deflection). This guide will help you understand the capabilities of the 3 most common lasers available in the market today:
A CO2 laser: the Carbon Dioxide gas sealed inside the laser (along with some other gases – most commonly nitrogen, and helium) is pumped (excited / heated up) using electrical energy (DC, AC or RF) which creates the stream of photons.
An Nd:YAG laser: the neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:Y3Al5O12) is pumped using a lamp or diode to emit the stream of photons.
A Fiber laser: a glass fiber doped with a rare earth ion – most commonly ytterbium (Yb3+) – is diode pumped and the photons generated are reflected down the fiber towards the deflecting mirrors.