how lasers work how stuff works

Advertisement BMW says that lasers have an illuminating power 1,000 times more powerful than light-emitting diodes-- or LEDs -- which up until just recently provided the greatest wow factor of all the bulb technologies out there.Thus, BMW says, the laser lights can be much smaller than conventional lighting systems, they can use less energy to operate and well, they look pretty darn cool, too. Questions? Laser Surgery for Snoring and Sleep Apnea, The Facebook Flick and Other Strange Units of Measurement. Specifically, what makes a laser light different from other kinds of light? How lasers work. NIF beams start out as invisible infrared light and then pass through special optics that convert them to visible green light and then to invisible, high-energy ultraviolet light for optimum interaction with the target. But what is a laser? Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Come in a Brown Bottle? We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Well, Not Exactly, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. how_lasers_work “Laser” is an acronym for l ight a mplification by s timulated e mission of r adiation. The fact is, they show up in an amazing range of products and technologies. Absorption of energy: An atom absorbs energy in the form of heat, light, or electricity. Tattoo removal, hair replacement, eye surgery -- they all use lasers. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. What makes a laser beam different from the beam of a flashlight? How does a laser speed gun work to measure a car's speed? This laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system. Operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. The type of laser we use in our products is an infrared, semiconductor, GaAs laser diode. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory • 7000 East Avenue • Livermore, CA 94550. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Our products include high-power lasers with up to 500W of laser power for high-performance applications. As discussed in How Analog and Digital Recording Works, a CD can store up to 74 minutes of music, so the total amount of digital data that must be stored on a CD is:. You'll find them in everything from CD players to dental drills to high-speed metal cutting mac­hines to measuring systems. In a laser diode, we take things a stage further to make the emerging light more pure and powerful. National Ignition Facility & Photon Science. In NIF, as in most large lasers, intense flashes of white light from giant flashlamps “pump” electrons in large slabs of laser glass to a higher-energy state that lasts only about one-millionth of a second. Lasers work by producing short pulses of intense light that pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. Lasers can be tiny constituents of microchips or as immense as NIF, which is ten stories high and as wide as three football fields. The particular wavelength of light is determined by the amount of energy released when the excited electron drops to a lower orbit. As always, let me know if you have questions, comments, or hatemail. Lasers are found in a dazzling range of products and technologies, including CD and DVD players, metal-cutting machines, measuring systems, and eye and cosmetic surgery. A small pulse of laser light “tuned” to the excited electrons’ energy is directed through the glass slabs. Modern lasers can produce pulses that are billions of times more powerful. Although there are many types of lasers, all have certain essential features. This process produces huge numbers of photons of the same wavelength and direction—an extremely bright and straight beam of light. Or if you just want to speak your mind. We also offer lower power lasers for some applications. These photons are all at the same wavelength and are “coherent,” meaning the crests and troughs of the light waves are all in lockstep. Here's what happens in a real-life, three-level laser. HowStuffWorks Forum: Is laser power limitless? In this way the initial low-energy pulse is amplified by more than a quadrillion times to create 192 highly energetic, tightly focused laser beams that converge in the center of the Target Chamber. Solid state lasers have a lasing medium that is solid crystal, like the ruby laser or the neodinium YAG laser, which emits 1.06 micrometer wavelength. A laser is created when the electrons in atoms in special glasses, crystals, or gases absorb energy from an electrical current or another laser and become “excited.” The excited electrons move from a lower-energy orbit to a higher-energy orbit around the atom’s nucleus. How Stuff Works has an article on lasers too. In contrast, ordinary visible light comprises multiple wavelengths and is not coherent. Scientists have demonstrated NIF’s ability to generate more than 500 trillion watts of power. An optical switch traps the low-energy laser pulse in the main amplifier for four passes through the laser glass slabs. First, its light contains only one wavelength (one specific color). Gas lasers have a lasing medium that is a gas or combination of gases, such as helium-neon laser or carbon dioxide laser, which emits 10.6 micrometer wavelengths (infrared). If you're not sure how this happens, take a look at the box how atoms make light in our introductory article about light. You're trying to hang a series of framed pictures, but you want them hung in a straight line -- after all, this isn't a Leaning Tower of Pisa sort of above-the-couch gallery. Whereas a laser generates a very tight beam, a flashlight produces light that is diffuse. The Laser/Atom Connection A laser is a device that controls the way that energized atoms release photons. The National Ignition Facility, where they’re trying to use lasers to make fusion power has a nice article. Primary Colors Are Red, Yellow and Blue, Right? An atom, in the simplest model, consists of a nucleus and orbiting electrons. Laser communications may be a boon for space exploration, but far more earthly pursuits will determine its fate as a commercial technology.. Take, for example, Wall Street's emerging breed of high-speed traders who leverage the power of quantitative analysis, the speed of premium broadband and a multiplicity of microtransactions to pile up earnings one fractional penny at a time. Take a look at this video to see our laser cleaning systems at work. Here's the situation: You're standing on your couch with a hammer and nail in one hand and a level in the other. Early lasers could produce peak powers of some 10,000 watts. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. "Laser" is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, which describes very succinctly how a laser works.. ­But lasers play a pivotal role in our everyday lives, too. Some lasers, such as ruby lasers, emit short pulses of light. A laser is created when the electrons in atoms in special glasses, crystals, or gases absorb energy from an electrical current or another laser and become “excited.” Laser light is very different from normal. Comments Insults? Because laser light is coherent, it stays focused for vast distances, even to the moon and back. The term inkjet printer is very descriptive of the process at work -- these printers put an image on paper using tiny jets of ink. NIF, like the ruby laser, emits pulses of light lasting only billionths of a second. The term laser printer, on the other hand, is a bit more mysterious -- how can a laser beam, a highly focused beam of light, write letters and draw pictures on paper?. How Lasers Work “Laser” is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light does not need to be visible. 44,100 samples/channel/second x 2 bytes/sample x 2 channels x 74 minutes x 60 seconds/minute = 783,216,000 bytes. Electrons may move from a lower-energy orbit to a higher-energy orbit. BMW says that lasers have an illuminating power 1,000 times more powerful than light-emitting diodes-- or LEDs -- which up until just recently provided the greatest wow factor of all the bulb technologies out there.Thus, BMW says, the laser lights can be much smaller than conventional lighting systems, they can use less energy to operate and well, they look pretty darn cool, too.

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