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Experimental results are reported on the room-temperature operation of Nd:YAG lasers end pumped with an LED. The radiation from a 10-percent-efficient 0.46-mm-diam domed LED was coupled to the end of a 0.46-mm-diam × 5.0-mm-long laser rod with a large hemispherical reflector. At 20°C, a multimode laser power of 0.25 mW was obtained at an LED current of 250 mA. By measuring the variation of threshold pump power with rod temperature and the laser power versus pump power just above threshold, both the laser cavity loss and the output mirror transmission were determined. A round-trip cavity loss as low as 0.022 percent was measured. A calculation of the fractional pump power absorbed in the rod for the LED spectrum gave 56 percent for a 5-mm-long rod while measurements showed that 30 to 35 percent of the LED power was being absorbed indicating an LED-to-laser rod coupling efficiency of 54 to 63 percent for this arrangement. With such efficient absorption of pump power and low cavity loss, end-pumped Nd:YAG lasers with high slope efficiencies above threshold are possible.