AUG 08, 2017 11:02 AM PDT

Researchers Are Augmenting Lasers with Diamonds

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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We use lasers for a wide variety of applications, whether it's for watching our cats go crazy while trying to chase the red dot, etching patterns into steel, or cutting things in half. Despite how versatile the modern laser has become, scientists are still looking for ways to make them more powerful.

A potentially-feasible new way for scientists to increase the power output of laser beams is to focus several of them through the crystalline structure of an ultrapure diamond. The result is a single dominant seed beam several times stronger than any of the lone pump beams were.

If the concept sounds familiar, that's because you've probably seen Star Wars and know how the Death Star works. Consider this concept very similar, except that scientists are using real lasers and real physics to accomplish their goals.

So far, tests have yielded limited results, but the beam was still stronger after exiting the diamond than it was entering it. It may be possible to increase the power output enough that super-focused lasers could be used for practical applications, such as propelling spacecraft to other star systems or shooting things out of the sky.

Only time will tell, as research into the concept continues.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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