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See a laser pulse flying with a femtocamera

Ok, it isn’t that easy, but the researchers from Edinburgh, England were able to see the laser light how it bounces from one mirror to another.

Even when using a femtocamera that can film 1 million billion frames per second it is hard to catch the light as it flies. Instead, the researchers have sent millions of pulses in a 10 minutes time priod and then recorded what they could.

In the end, after composing the recorded images they could see the light clearly how it behaves like in the sci-fi movies.

How could they see the light? Usually we couldn’t see the light form a laser, but if you have enough gases int he air or something that could scatter the light much better than regular air, then you can also see some light from the laser.

Amazing tech. In the future we just may be able to film light in one shot. Amazing times await us!

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Lasers help us discover lost cities

DNews reported recently that lasers can and have been used to discover lost cities. It takes month and even years to discover lost cities and lasers can help reduce that time at least 10x.

The technology used is LIDAR, a radar for lasers, which is good for penetrating dense vegetation. In 2013 researchers used LIDAR via a satellite to map 140 sq miles in less than 2 weeks in Cambodgia, int he vicinity of Angkor Wat, an old 11th century temple. They found an older city beneath the vegetation.

Using LIDAR to map the Earth costs about $350/sq km so it ain’t cheap for the common folk, but it’s a damn good tool.

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Learn about lasers

MIT has a comprehensive course about lasers in three parts in here. Of course, the course might seem daunting but it goes into the depths of physics and optics to explain you how a laser works and how to obtain it.

Lasers are obtained when you get a chain reaction in an object like a ruby crystal or a gas. That chain reaction effectively emits photons of a given wavelength in all directions. Two mirrors will then reflect the light that is parrallel to the axis that connects them and the light will then escape from one of these mirrors as one of them has less than 100% reflectivity.

This way, when the light exits the mirror you get a focused beam of light that is monochromatic and powerful.

Above is part I, and here are part II and part III.

You see see short versions of how lasers work below:
– short explanation from Bill Hammack

– Einstein animation that explains how lasers work

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Lasers explained – put order into the world of Photon [video]

Learn how laser works by watching this interesting video from Minute Physics. Laser is only light, but that light is organized in a well focused beam with more and more photons in a given area. They have the same orientation and polarization and thus having more such organized photons will help you create the ultimate Light Sword.

Laser is the acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” and it saw the light in 1957 when Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow, from Bell Labs, starter to work very hard on infrared radiation, but instead they concentrated on visible light. Good they did that!

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Laserman Electronica 2011 – incredible laser show from Disneyland California[video]

Techive posted an incredible laser show done in November 2011 by Laserman, in Disneyland California. See how he bends the laser beam near the end of the video. Well, awesome is an understatement. Thanks [Ocitzip].

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How do holograms work – this video explains how to make one

Make Magazine explains very easy what holograms are and how you can build your own. It only takes basic knowledge of how to read instructions and following them to the letter. For this you will need a laser, an LED, “Instant Hologram” Film Plates and some other things outlined in the DIY Hologram Kit.

If you like to read more about holograms and the science behind them do not hesitate to check the article over at HowStuffWorks about holograms.