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A novel description, based on the Doppler effect, is given for laser switching by a rotating mirror. Fourier analysis yields a relation between the width of the pulse and the angular velocity of the mirror . It is shown that for laser emission having a Gaussian spatial amplitude profile the temporal shape of a -switched pulse is also Gaussian. It is predicted that for different lasers switched by mirrors rotating with the same will depend on the wavelength of the laser. For a ruby laser, measurements are reported of versus for different configurations of the cavity into which vertical and horizontal slits were introduced.