Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Summary:
Using a handful of inexpensive components -- including an off-the-shelf computer webcam and a small diffraction grating, a device for splitting and diffracting light into several beams -- researchers have built a diffraction spectrometer that can tune lasers with better than one part-per-million accuracy.

Every photon in a laser beam marches in lockstep, at an identical wavelength that depends on what the laser is used for -- for example, infrared lasers that drive the optic fiber internet. For many applications, lasers need to be precisely tuned to those wavelengths, and the wavelength-measuring instruments can be more expensive than the lasers themselves.

Related Articles


Now, using a handful of inexpensive components -- including an off-the-shelf computer webcam and a small diffraction grating, a device for splitting and diffracting light into several beams -- researchers have built a diffraction spectrometer that can tune lasers with better than one part-per-million accuracy.

"The accessibility, simplicity, and cost make it feasible to provide such precision measurements for every single laser in a laboratory," says physicist and study co-author Robert E. Scholten of the University of Melbourne. Indeed, Scholten says, the instrument, which is described in the AIP's journal Review of Scientific Advances, is simple enough to be constructed in undergraduate physics labs -- "and could easily be a high-school project," he adds.

"It would provide excellent training in optics and the wave nature of light, and once constructed, the device can be used to elucidate the quantum mechanical structure of matter, for example by measuring the fine-structure splitting or even the hyperfine structure of atoms such as sodium."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics (AIP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James D. White, Robert E. Scholten. Compact diffraction grating laser wavemeter with sub-picometer accuracy and picowatt sensitivity using a webcam imaging sensor. Review of Scientific Instruments, 2012; 83 (11): 113104 DOI: 10.1063/1.4765744

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111917.htm>.
American Institute of Physics (AIP). (2012, December 4). Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111917.htm
American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111917.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins