Random lasers are the simplest sources of stimulated emission without cavity, with the feedback provided by scattering in a gain medium. First proposed in the late 60’s, random lasers have grown to a large research field. This lecture reviews the state of the art of random lasers, provides an outline of the basic models describing their behavior, and describes the recent advances in the field. Researchers and students entering the field of random lasers will find in the lecture an overview of the field of study.
I would like to acknowledge the help of many my co-authors in different random laser-related papers, especially Dr. Messaoud Bahoura, Dr. H. John Caulfield, Ms. Ichesia N. Veal (Fowlkes), Mr. Kaleem J. Morris, Dr. Natalia Noginova, Mr. Jakub Novak, Ms. Starre N. Williams, and Mr. Guohua Zhu. The recent research of our group in this field was supported by the NASA grants NCC-1-01049 and NCC-3-1035 and the NSF grant HRD-0317722.