Laser Technology Current Affairs

Israeli scientists create world’s first water-wave laser

Scientists from Israel have created the world’s first ‘water-wave laser’ that emits a beam through the interaction of light and water waves.

The study conducted by team of researchers from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology led by Professor Tal Carmon.

Significance of this research

A typical laser can be created when the electrons in atoms become “excited” by energy absorbed from an outside source causing them to emit radiation in the form of laser light. However, the water-wave laser for the first time showed that water wave oscillations within a liquid device can also generate laser radiation. It also successfully demonstrated nonlinear optics and water waves, two areas of research that were previously considered unrelated to one another.

How it works?
  • In this case, researchers had created a device in which an optical fibre delivers light into a tiny droplet of octane and water.
  • The energy is emitted by the droplet when light waves and water waves pass through each other many times (about one million times) inside the droplet
  • The interaction between the fibre optic light and the miniscule vibrations on surface of the droplet creates an echo i.e. interaction of sound waves causing it to emit radiation.
  • Event when minute pressure is applied by light it can cause droplet deformation that is a million times greater than in a typical optomechanical device. It may offer greater control of the laser’s emissions.
  • In order to increase this echo effect in the device, highly transparent, runny liquids was used to encourage light and droplet interactions.
Potential Applications

The ‘water-wave laser’ may be used in ‘lab-on-a-chip’ devices to study cell biology and test new drug therapies. It can be used in tiny sensors that combine light waves, sound and water waves. It also offers scientists a playground for studying the interaction of light and fluid at a scale smaller than the width of a human hair.

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Scientists for first time develop laser from fluorescent jellyfish proteins

Scientists for the first time have developed LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria.

The first of its kind represents a major advance breakthrough in so-called polariton lasers operating at room temperature.

What is Laser?

A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. Major difference between laser and other sources of light is that, laser emits light coherently.

What is Polariton laser?

  • Polariton laser works by passing photons back and forth between excited molecules.
  • Unlike conventional lasers, the photons in Polariton laser are released and reabsorbed within the device itself before zooming out as laser light.

Key Facts

  • To develop the fluorescent Polariton laser, scientists had engineered barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins from jellyfish DNA.
  • They had filled optical microcavities (between two mirrors) with this protein before subjecting them to optical pumping.
  • Nanosecond flashes of blue light from an external laser were used to bring the system up to the required energy to create laser light.
  • After the threshold was reached for polariton lasing, scientists pumped more energy into the device setup that resulted in conventional lasing.
  • Significance: These lasers have the potential to be far more efficient and compact than conventional ones.
  • It could open up research avenues in quantum physics and optical computing. Consumes less energy compared to conventional lasers.
  • It can be used for the purpose more efficient optical communications or in medical lasers that are less destructive to living tissue.

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