Optics and Lasers

Brought to you by the students of P. A. Wiedorn at Wilde Lake High School


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Optics


Lasers

A LASER is a machine that sends out a powerful beam of light. It is often thought of as an optical oscillator. Optical means light, and oscillate means to change back and forth. The word LASER means.

L IGHT
A MPLIFICATION by
S TIMULATED
E MISSIONS of
R ADIATION

LASER SPECTRUM

LASERS work throughout the visible light spectrum and below it to microwaves, and above it to X-rays. Some LASERs are visible, some are not.

CAN YOU THINK OF SOME USES FOR LASERS?

THE FIRST LASER

In 1917 Albert Einstein developed the theory of laser light, it wasn't until 1960, in California, that Dr. Theodore Maiman made the first working laser. His laser was made from a ruby rod that was triggered by a flash tube (bright like a strobe light.) It made a pulse of light that had everything needed to be a laser light...

LASERS ARE:

MONOCHROMATIC
DIRECTIONAL
COHERENT
BRIGHT

MONOCHROMATIC

MONOCHROMATIC is light that is only one color. The color will be different with different kinds of lasers. Ordinary light is made up of many different colors. You can see this by using a prism.

DIRECTIONAL

Laser light is DIRECTIONAL - it doesn't spread out. A powerful laser is beamed at the moon - 250,000 miles from earth. The beam spread out less than 2 miles by the time it got to the moon.

COHERENT

Laser light is COHERENT. Ordinary light is a jumble of different wave-lengths. Laser light is just one, and they are in step with each other.

BRIGHT

Because the light beams are the same and travel together, there is more energy in the beam, making the light very, very, BRIGHT.


Last updated on 18 November 2008 by P. A. Wiedorn

 

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