What is the biggest constraint in creating tiny lasers? Pump power. Yes sir, all lasers require a certain amount of pump power from an outside source to begin emitting a coherent beam of light and the smaller a laser is, the greater the pump power needed to reach this state. The laser cavity consists of a tiny metal rod enclosed by a ring of metal-coated, quantum wells of semiconductor material. A team of researchers from the University of California has developed a technique that uses quantum electrodynamic effects in coaxial nanocavities to lower the amount of pump power needed. This allowed them to build the world’s smallest room-temperature, continuous wave laser. The whole device is only half a micron in diameter (human hair has on average a thickness of 50 micron). [via]
World’s Smallest Laser Is Smaller Than Dust – [Link]
With the help of the most powerful X-ray laser in the world researchers of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy have heated a piece of aluminum to a temperature of two million degrees Celsius (3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit). They also managed to verify the temperature achieved. This work could be an important step to a better understanding of nuclear fusion processes that go on in the cores of stars and giant planets like Jupiter. [via]
3,600,000 F – The Hottest Thing on Earth – [Link]
RFID antennas are traditionally produced by etching, but a new process developed by Walki, a manufacturer of technical laminates, aims to displace etching by laser cutting. The process uses paper as the substrate and eliminates the need for liquid chemicals, making process residue easily recyclable. Laser cutting also accelerates the design to production cycle and allows extremely precise fabrication of circuit board patterns. The finished antenna, consisting of just paper and aluminium, is fully recyclable.
The new technology is dubbed Walki-4E where 4E stands for efficient, exact, ecological and economical and is based on a laminate of aluminium on a paper substrate, with the aluminium foil cut in patterns using a laser. It can be used to produce any type of flexible circuit, ranging from RFID antennas to radiators and flexible displays. The first product to be launched using this technology is Walki-Pantenna, a UHF RFID antenna. [via]
Laser cutting makes antennas greener – [Link]
The Audrey Braille Display – LIVE! @ Utopia Mechanicus. David writes – [via]
It’s taken far longer than I wanted, but I am finally looking at a finished prototype for the Audrey Braille Display. Made of 3mm Acrylic laser-cut pieces (via the Victoria Makerspace laser cutter), it uses two stepper motors, connects to an Arduino (and LadyAda Motor Driver board), and displays 5 characters.
The Audrey Braille Display – [Link]
It’s a “programmable disco ball,” a “cat toy for humans,” and a “personal laser light show,” all rolled into one. That’s how one Matt Leone describes his latest creation, aptly known as the Laser Ball. To realize his dream, Leone drilled a set of holes into a garden variety tennis ball, and inserted about 14 laser diodes, each with an attached strip of diffraction grating. Said diodes were then synced up with an Arduino-equipped Teensy microcontroller nestled within the ball, alongside a rechargeable battery – http://leonelabs.blogspot.com
Make a laser ball… -[Link]
RGB (RGV actually) laser projector v2.5 – graphics and animations – [via]
This is my RGB laser projector v2.5
video part 2 – graphics and animations
Red: 300mW 650nm (2x LPC-815 laser diode @350mA, combined with PCBS)
Green: Chinese 100mW 532nm DPSS laser module
Blue (violet): 280mW 405nm (1x SF-AW210 laser diode @270mA)
Total output power (after dichros and galvos): approx. 500mW
Galvos: cheap 20kpps set
DAC used: Popelscan LPT DAC
Software: mostly NLS v1.6.7
RGB (RGV) laser projector – [Link]
A new bike tail light developed by Apex Bright LED was designed not just as a techno-gizmo but also to improve the security of bicycle riders riding in the dark or in poorly lit conditions. An IPX2 rated laser writes two bright red lines on the road surface, warning traffic coming from the rear to keep a safe distance.
The waterproof unit also has three very bright red LEDs that can operate in various flash modes. It works from two AAA batteries and can be secured to seat posts with a diameter between 20 and 36 mm. The battery capacity enables the laser work to work for approximately 9 hours, while the LED on its own can flash for up to 36 hours. [via]
LED & Laser tail light creates safer perimeter for bikes – [Link]
Wickedlasers claim their Spyder 3 Krypton is the world’s brightest handheld laser so powerful its beam breaks through the atmosphere into outer space. With a theoretical range of 85 miles, the S3 Krypton is the first and only handheld laser visible from outer space. Directly viewing the dot of a the Krypton 1-watt laser (86 million lux) will appear over 8,000 times brighter than looking directly at the sun. Safety goggles are a must.
A green laser was chosen because the human eye perceives pure green light brighter than red, blue or purple light.
The Krypton is the first laser to contain an internal thermopile detector. When excess heat is detected, the internal microprocessor gradually lowers operating current to ensure temperature stabilization. A Tactical Smartswitch 2.0 feature on the device offers 9 operation modes including 5 new tactical modes like SOS (Hi / Low) , Beacon (Hi / Low), and Tactical Hibernation. SmartSwitch technology locks out unauthorized access to your S3 Krypton making this super-powered laser inoperable when unattended. [via]
World’s brightest commercial laser has 85 miles range – [Link]
Laser-cut project box tutorial @ Ponoko Community Hub. Rich writes – [via]
Lately I’ve been learning about laser-cutting my own project boxes for the electronic gear I build. The process took me a little while to get my head around, but now that I know what I’m doing, I’m hooked. The finished product looks great and works great. For about the same price as I would pay for a generic plastic box from an electronics retailer, I can get my own enclosure made with every hole cut out perfectly and all the labelling included.
Laser-cut project box tutorial – [Link]
This was a project made as a request.
The idea was to build a circuit that was capable of simulating a tripwire trap. This type of of trap uses a wire placed 20 centimeters above the floor strapped to some bars or trees. When the intruder enters the protected area he trips on the wire and activates the alarm.
Laser tripwire with Alarm – [Link]