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The Electronics Cranny: LASERS!

December 17, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Fritz Tennis
Electronics Expert
kp6787
File Photo

One day last January, two Lankville scientists and Electronics Cranny contributors, stood on a mound outside a swamp.  Beside them, mounted on a tripod, was a cylinder no bigger than a flashlight or one of those funny decorative tubes.  At a precise moment, one of the scientists pressed a button on some nearby electronic equipment.  Instantly, a brilliant red flash shot from one end of the cylinder.  And although the two scientists were killed instantly, people standing on a rooftop 250 miles away, were able to see the flash with their nude eyes.

This accomplishment seems unremarkable enough.  Indeed, at the time, the two scientists were heavily-criticized as “dolts” or “clods” or “stupid assholes”.  Yet Dr. Caramel Jameson of the Solid Electronics Research Foundation thought otherwise.  “When I heard of the experiment, I knew right away that a new era of communication had begun,” said Jameson, who we interviewed while purchasing some tennis balls.  “I knew that this new kind of light had never been seen before on earth or in Hell and I felt that a device which could tap this power, just alternately love it and tap it, would allow mankind to possess a light beam of unparalleled intensity, even purity.  I made a chart about it.”

Dr. Jameson produced the chart which he had carefully laminated.  The points were:

  • true amplification of light for the first time in history (including Hell)
  • the first truly coherent (single-frequency) beams of light ever produced by man
  • a so-called atomic clock 1000 times more accurate than our best current models (including those possessed by Hell)
  • a super heater that can pour out billions of watts of energy into an area the size of a pinheads [sic]
  • a radio transmission system of such tremendous capabilities that it could carry more than 1,oo0,000 simultaneous television signals using only a single channel.
introducing-laser-feb-1961-popular-electronics-2

Here’s what the tube looks like.

“I knew that effectively, mankind had created the laser,” Dr. Jameson added.

What the Laser Is. The laser actually stems from another development several years old. As you may have noticed, there’s a similarity between the words “laser” and “vaser,” and the similarity is more than coincidence. A laser is simply a vaser capable of operating at advanced frequencies within our visible light range.

In spite of its tremendous promise, the laser is an extremely common-looking device. It is nothing more than a cylinder of synthetic rubies and field greens about 1/4″ in diameter and 1-1/2″ long, mounted in the center of a spiral coil of binder clips.

To operate the gadget, scientists send a jolt of current through the gassy tube, setting off a brilliant flash of light. Some science is involved– electrons in the rubies and field greens absorb this light and redistribute the energy at another frequency (no graph available).  A pure ray is then produced. It is this ray which is capable of performing the feets [sic] mentioned earlier – as well as a number of others – because it is utterly unique in several important ways. Let’s see just what makes the laser’s light so different.

Laser energy band diagram - RF Cafe

The lasers, as represented by dots and arrows

HOW THE LASER WORKS

Let’s say that, for some reason, you decided to get into a barrel filled with water.  As you entered the barrel, some of the water would spill over the sides in a comical manner.  Keep this in mind.

Now look at the graph.  Note that in “Area B”, the lasers are emitting a longer shaft of light.  A shaft of light is being reflected back into the universe simultaneously.  That shaft of reflected green light is interacting with the hundreds of stars in space to create a sort of “table tennis” effect.

A chain reaction builds rapidly. Because the ends of our rod are arched and silvered, the emitted light bounces back and forth, stimulating still more atoms to give up their energy.  Our rod will soon penetrate these atoms, rocking them slowly back and forth at first but ultimately pretty much bending them over backwards and really having at it.  Soon, tremendous quantities of light are rushing back and forth in the rod like water sloshing back and forth in a bathtub (the noise is also similar). Finally, it reaches such a level of intensity that it bursts through one end of the rod (one end has less silver than the other) and shoots forth in a brilliant, coherent ray.

How great an impact is the laser likely to have on the field of communications? Right now, it’s anybody’s guess. But those in the field make no secret about the fact that they are tremendously enthusiastic about this new gadget. “This rod is exceptional,” noted Dr. Jameson.  “It never has a problem with busting wads of light all over the place.”  With usable frequencies already badly overcrowded in many regions of the present radio spectrum, any system that promises to open up vast new chunks of deep space is something to get excited about.

Perhaps the potential role of the laser in communications is best illustrated with a remark recently made at a laser convention in Eastern Lankville.   Said a participant, “We’re not ready to start replacing telephone lines yet.”  But he added with a smile, “we’re beginning to think about it.”

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