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Thread: Lasers circa 1970 or Manifesto on Coherency

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    MONROE, MI
    Posts
    9

    Default Lasers circa 1970 or Manifesto on Coherency

    Hello, fellow cravers of coherency. At the suggestion of Marconi, The following is my story of 35+ years experimenting with lasers. I am not a Laserist, Physicist, Optical Engineer, Laser Engineer or High Energy Particle Scientist. I truly respect these occupations, mine is a much less hi-tech venue…management in the mining industry . I’m just your average garden variety, “tinkerer” in the work shop, sometimes spending large sums of money on completely “unjustifiable” items, Joe.
    My story begins 35 years ago. Lasers were only a 10 year old invention. Nixie tubes were the predominate display technology. The first moon landing was 6 months old. Woodstock had just happened. My HS Physics dept. had just received there first (and only) .5 mW HeNe laser. Out of this silver gray box came a line, a seemingly perfect straight line…and the light…never before had I seen such a light. The grainy. sparkly, unearthly sight of coherent light. I was HOOKED !
    FF…3 years…the summer before my second year at college. The first (and only) time I ever found a sum of money…about $120. How fortuitous….just enough to cover a .5mW HeNe Metrologic Laser from Edmonds Scientific. Guilt-free expenditure on something I just had to have !!! Already had a respectable stereo…what else would you spend it on ????? IT WAS DESTINY.
    Well, you must remember that in 1973, lasers were anything but a common dorm room item. We proceeded to set the unit up so that the beam output (puny that it was !) entered a polished Plexiglas crystal. This crystal was centered atop a 33RPM spinning record. ( Note: output plane was set up quite high…not CDRH standards, but high enough that beam path Not directed at eyes ) Needless to say, we were 10 years ahead of disco ( Not really a thing to brag about !!) BUT…this was an extraordinary sight …at that time….It was a better ice breaker than a cute puppie dog…by an order of magnitude !!! and No mess !!
    Well, let’s speculate as to what that simple gray/silver box could provide in the way of harmless hours of entertainment. You could speculate that IF a few photons did stray out the dorm window !!!Again, remember the time frame…almost NOBODY had seen this type of thing before. Albeit .5mW is a weakling beam, that could be useful, in that a stronger beam would deliver the all telling “ Source de la Coherence”…not useful in this application. You could further speculate that IF such an activity did occur, the resulting reaction from J.Q.Public would be nothing less than pure astonishment. I/O operations would have likely been sequenced to promote maximum confusion and the ultimate nirvana would be to watch as “ eyes grew as big as saucers and they ran away thinking that it was either the evil reincarnation of Tinker Belle or the mothership was about to beam them up !!! “ It could further be surmised that such an operation would require a steady hand at the com. Selection and subsequent tracking being in manual mode , nerves would need to be steadied. Normal/ economical liquid methods would be required. IF such events occurred, they would have provided much appreciated and needed entertainment.
    Well, from then to now, I have continued to “experiment”…Several DPSS’s, a HeNe, a 400mW Argon coupled to a GXL Laser Liteshow. My last purchase has been a 100mW red module from maXYZModules. Waiting on delivery!!
    In closing…I speculate and propose this !!
    For whatever physiological reason, it may be in human nature to be drawn to the display of coherent light. Purity of colour, perfect geometric display, unusual sparkle/ grain like quality of coherent light on beam target…I DO NOT KNOW !! I think the universal entertainment factor cannot be denied.!!! So, how can we display this light…in an every day utilitarian object…and combine both form and function ????? I propose an analog clock/auto sequence small diode laser display. WOW…now that is “out there”
    Hang in there while I bring this home !!A clock has utility (NS). It is a justifiable room object. Most time display is …BORING…NO IMAGINATION !!! Let’s take a low to medium power Red ( I like red) diode laser. Mount it so that the beam output is centered on the shaft of an analog clock hands. Then, redirect the beam via a very small mirror which is attached to the clock minute hand. The resultant output would then be parallel to the minute hand and directed outward from the clock hand shaft. Then…place a series of sensors ( Hall Effect?)…one at each number on the clock face. Then as the clock minute hand comes into proximity of the sensor…a signal is sent to a simple STAMP processor. This unit would I/O the module for a short time period…every 5 minutes.(1~12).the module would output coherent light. If the STAMP were set up to turn the module on for 5.85 second interval…every 5 minutes, the module would last for approx 20 years…@ 5000 MTTF module life. Beam output could then be directed into a mirrored interior perimeter…to deliver additional coherent beams…at changing angles. Could be done cheap too. !!! A synergy of Timekeeping, Art and auto sequenced coherent light display ????????? Hope you enjoyed this “read” !!!Drop me a line…RDS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    lancaster Pa. USA
    Posts
    130

    Default

    I dont know what attracts most people to coherent light.
    Myself i find it facinating.
    I do find myself attracted to those who are coherent as opposed to those who are incoherent, which seems to be most of the world nowdays.
    :roll:
    Those who stand for nothing, Will fall for anything.

  3. #3

    Default

    Bengal: Baaaaaaaaaaad..........even for you!!

    :P


    RDS: welcome to the most casual laserist community, glad you came aboard

    That lil HeNe...todays lil' dollar-store reds still fascinate me, do they, you, too?


    Clock idea...that's one I've been kicking around, yours more sound an idea than mine, tho...

    *That*, m'dear, true art!



    Hope to see more from ya
    Responses always welcome...whether intelligent replies or smart answers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    lancaster Pa. USA
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    130

    Default

    what? you think the world is more coherent than not?
    Those who stand for nothing, Will fall for anything.

  5. #5

    Default

    The world is as unstable as a 100mW laser pointer, lacking heatsink and left on overlong....my shut up now
    Responses always welcome...whether intelligent replies or smart answers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    MONROE, MI
    Posts
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    Default

    Civilization is a thin veneer indeed !! Look at the last major blackout !!!Not to mention all the big blows down in Florida. Likely we saw some things and behaviors you do not see everyday !! But, none of this is new !!! it's just now we have the media ( Driven ==> $$) to feed a insatiable appetite.for something new !!! generally bad news !! Off the box now !!!! RDS

  7. #7

    Default

    I was there all during that particularly hard blown year...let's just say that there are all kinds of people in this world, but their extremeties live in Florida.....

    Furthermore...

    Driving through the traffic, during the 3-day blackout, not only did I have to contend with the normal driving conditions (Two kinds of drivers - those who drive over 75 and those who are...) --

    I also had to contend with the local traffic cops treating the blown out traffic lights - and I am not making this up - likeasif there were flashing yellow signs...one cop gave me warning slip for stopping at what is legally a 4-way stop -- "obstructing traffic"

    I kid thee not!
    Responses always welcome...whether intelligent replies or smart answers

  8. #8

    Default

    saturday night fever was in 1977, hense, you were 4 years ahead of your time. by 1983, they had kill disco night at wrigley fields, free admission if you bought a disco record to break during the 7th inning stretch. not sure of the venue, i do believe it took place in chicago, circa 1983. disco era was endind and rap was coming in.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    lancaster Pa. USA
    Posts
    130

    Default

    maybe we should start a new thread, seems we kinda hijacked rds's topic
    sorry rds!
    Those who stand for nothing, Will fall for anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    MONROE, MI
    Posts
    9

    Default All righty, then ! !! I Agree....kinda

    Yes, It could be said the the "offical" incept date of "Disco" into American pop culture occured when "Saturday Night Fever" hit the big screen !!! But When did laser light shows make it into the "Night Club Venue " ????? I imagine it was well into the 80's...depending where you lived.Likely small /medium laser displays hit the West and East coast first !!! I have allways lived in the Midwest ( Cows, Corn, Ya know )...Anyway, the point was/is that, at that time (1973), we had the advantage of novelty and it was that novelty that delivered such ....animated reactions !!!!!
    Now, think what we have come to!!!!! Sad !!!! A red dot means there is possibly a "you know what" hanging off the bottom of that innocent source of coherent light. And the green dot....jeezzzz, I won't even go there. Stupidity ...."Raised almost to the power of infinity" ( 5 bucks sez you can't tell what "Classic" movie that line came from !!!

    The Quantum well is deep, A la belle'etoile, Ad Vivum

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