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Published on Mar 7, 2012
Physics 111 Advanced Laboratory. Professor Sumner Davis
This video accompanies the CO2 Laser Experiment, providing students with an introduction to the theory, apparatus, and procedures.
The carbon dioxide laser was the first high-powered infrared laser developed. Unlike commercial lasers, the home-built laser in this laboratory allows you to see, touch and adjust everything - from filling the tube with gas, to the optical alignment, to monitoring of output power, and to changing the wavelengths with a grating. Its output beam can exceed 10 watts of monochromatic radiation, an invisible beam that can burn you in a fraction of a second.
You will learn about molecular structure, light and optics, gas discharges, and how a CO-2 laser works. You will develop skills in adjusting sensitive optical equipment. You will also learn how to work safely with electromagnetic radiation that you cannot see.