Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The search for new applications for laser light beams

30.05.2006


Light can blind or distort colours, or confuse one with chiaroscuros. But it can have greater usefulness if its properties, characteristics, how it is created, etcetera are better understood.



At the Department of Applied Physics at the University of the Basque Country School of Engineering they are using laser light in studies to look for new applications.

There is more than one kind of laser beam but, basically, the process of its creation is the same:


Initially, photons– light particles – are needed and, to this end, electricity or another source of light is used, for example, a flash. The photons thus created reach a state that is known as ‘active species’ their electrons being in an excited state. The photons join with the ‘active species’ electrons, thus boosting their energy levels. This situation causes the electrons to jump to a higher energy level; they are said to be in an excited state.

But the electrons cannot last very long in this state and spontaneously return to their fundamental level, thereby liberating the accumulated energy in the form of photons. These released photons have greater energy and longer wavelength than the initial photons – these liberated photons are those that create a laser light beam.

There exists the possibility that the energy accumulated by the electrons is not released in the form of photons but as heat. This happens with glass when photons from the sun’s rays hit it. The electrons in the glass are excited but, on returning to their fundamental level, they release energy in the form of heat and not as light.

The ‘active species’ photons are released in all directions, but some of these can be trapped by two mirrors judiciously juxtapositioned. A to-and-fro movement is initiated with the photons bouncing back and forth from one mirror to the other. Moreover, while they are trapped, they continue influencing other electrons, thus creating ever more high-energy photons, i.e. evermore laser light.

The released ‘active species’ photons tend to line up and group together so they have even greater energy level. When a certain energy level is reached, a series of photons escapes through one of the mirrors – this is a laser light beam, continuous and pulsating.

The colour of the laser will fundamentally depend on the ‘active species’, given that each species liberates photons of a specific wavelength, creating green, red, yellow or invisible laser beams.

In the laboratory they are investigating active species and materials by subjecting them to laser.

Knowledge of the optical properties of materials can be used for an infinite number of applications. For example, in the Applied Physics laboratory they have created crystals of a special composition that could be used in medicine. Once the size of the crystals is reduced, they can be introduced into cells as markers, in order to discriminate between different types of cells or even between components of a cell. The laser beam falling on the crystals will illuminate them thus signalling their exact position or they will initiate specific cell processes which would result in the death of cancer cells, for example. All this calls for, needless to say, precise knowledge of lasers and, above all, of the crystals to be used.

It is not science fiction, but science fact and in there amongst other, very real bodies, is the School of Engineering.

Irati Kortabitarte | BasqueResearch
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=975&hizk=I

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

nachricht Nuclear physicists leap into quantum computing with first simulations of atomic nucleus
24.05.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>