The capability of tunable dye lasers to generate high power densities with very narrow bandwidths has been used extensively in molecular spectroscopy, photochemistry, and reaction dynamics to selectively populate excited states with highly specific molecular properties (e.g., rovibronic excitation). Instrumentally, both the bandwidth and wavelength stabilities of the laser radiation determine the degree of specificity with which an excited state can be selectively populated. Thus, in experiments using narrow bandwidth excitation, these two characteristics are an essential part of the laser diagnostics.

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