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Old 2006-07-24, 10:12   #1
ixfd64
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Default high-powered lasers

Has anyone seen any of the products made by Wicked Lasers?

Those things can pop balloons, cut electrical tape, and ignite matches!
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Old 2006-07-24, 12:11   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfd64
Has anyone seen any of the products made by Wicked Lasers?

Those things can pop balloons, cut electrical tape, and ignite matches!
They look interesting. They also look dangerous.

100mW of laser light is easily enough to cause permanent retina damage. A tenth of a watt doesn't sound much but the lens of the eye focuses it down to a spot much less than a millimeter in diameter. Work out the power density for yourself and compare it with that of, say, an electric fire.

In a previous life I used medium power lasers professionally. We had a tunable dye laser with output up to a watt or so, itself pumped by an argon-ion laser which could produce up to 10W at 514.5nm or up to 20W in all spectral lines. The Ar+ laser beam felt like a hot soldering iron if it hit bare skin.

Incidentally, I was the victim of the very first industrial laser accident reported in the UK. No great damage done and my other eye is just fine.
Paul
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Old 2006-07-24, 17:46   #3
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Having also worked with lasers in my college days, I agree 100% with Paul - anything over a few mW (roughly the level of a laser pointer like thoise used for presentations and laser leveling tools) is very dangerous and should only be used in an approved setting, with appropriate precautions. Unlike other kinds of industrial equipment (say, blowtorches or machinery), lasers are almost unique in that distance from the device is absolutely no guarantee of safety. - Note that in many (perhaps most) safety-related incidents or laser-induced eye injuries, it's not the main beam that causes the damage, it's stray reflections, which are much harder to avoid, especially if the unit is being used carelessly or "recreationally." At the risk of sounding like someone's mother ("you could put someone's eye out!"), these aren't toys, and used incautiously they can instantly damage your sight permanently and beyond repair.
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Old 2006-07-31, 15:25   #4
mfgoode
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Talking lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
They look interesting. They also look dangerous.

100mW of laser light is easily enough to cause permanent retina damage. A tenth of a watt doesn't sound much but the lens of the eye focuses it down to a spot much less than a millimeter in diameter. Work out the power density for yourself and compare it with that of, say, an electric fire.

In a previous life I used medium power lasers professionally. We had a tunable dye laser with output up to a watt or so, itself pumped by an argon-ion laser which could produce up to 10W at 514.5nm or up to 20W in all spectral lines. The Ar+ laser beam felt like a hot soldering iron if it hit bare skin.

Incidentally, I was the victim of the very first industrial laser accident reported in the UK. No great damage done and my other eye is just fine.
Paul
:surprised
I'm sorry to hear about this accident of yours in your 'previous life'
You should go in for a brain scan or CT scan as that laser could have affected your cerebral cortex, jokes aside
Mally
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Old 2006-08-01, 08:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
Incidentally, I was the victim of the very first industrial laser accident reported in the UK. No great damage done and my other eye is just fine.
Clarification may be desirable. Both my eyes are completely undamaged by laser light, therefore the other eye is indeed just fine My eyes were checked for damage (for several years after I stopped using lasers) every time I went to have my spectacles renewed and nothing was ever found.

The details of the accident, briefly, are that the dye laser was being installed by the Coherent Inc. engineers, one of whom asked me to push over an oscilloscope which was on a small trolley nearby. I did so and, while bent over, got a stray reflection directly into the left eye. I was momentarily dazzled but that seemed all, though I made a comment to the effect: "Wow, that was bright"". The laser was tuned to the sodium D lines (or one of them, anyway) just short of 590nm and so was a nice orange-yellow colour.

The following morning the eye was sore and bloodshot. and I was sent off to the Oxford Eye Hospital. The doctor examining me had, of course, never seen a laser accident before and rounded up all the students he could find on the grounds that this was an opportunity not to be missed. The consensus was that there was no retinal damage and the obviously burst vein was due to the high accelerations involved in a very violent blink reflex.

The subsequent inquiries were really rather fascinating and resulted, among other things, a very significant tightening up of installation procedures. A reconstruction of the incident showed that the beam I saw had a power of somewhere between 50 and 150 microwatts at a wavelength of 590nm --- low enough not to cause permanent damage within plausible exposure times but certainly enough to cause medium duration bleaching of the retina --- glowing spots in the field of vision, in other words, such as you get if you look directly at the sun for a brief time.


Paul

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2006-08-01 at 08:10
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Old 2006-08-01, 09:10   #6
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Does anyone know how much power would be needed to bring down mosquitoes?
I was plagued by them last night, killed some dozens, had few sleep and enough time for torturing phantasies...
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Old 2006-08-01, 13:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystwalker
Does anyone know how much power would be needed to bring down mosquitoes?
I was plagued by them last night, killed some dozens, had few sleep and enough time for torturing phantasies...
I really think that these mosquito mats would be more effective than attempting to be 'Billy the Kid'

Patrick
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Old 2006-08-01, 13:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick123
I really think that these mosquito mats would be more effective than attempting to be 'Billy the Kid'
Effectiveness <> fun
Mystwalker hinted about torturing so I imagine he wanted to do something like burning wings and legs rather then quickly execute "death-penalty"
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Old 2006-08-01, 15:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruelty
Effectiveness <> fun
Mystwalker hinted about torturing so I imagine he wanted to do something like burning wings and legs rather then quickly execute "death-penalty"
That factors in as well, right.

The other thing is that I was unaware of the effectiveness of mosquito mats. Maybe I can get one after work.

Nevertheless, it seems like the laser variant is also better for one's health, assuming one doesn't get blinded/burned. It's just frustrating when you see a mosquito on the ceiling and know that you won't reach it there...

Last fiddled with by Mystwalker on 2006-08-01 at 15:07 Reason: "Maybe I can be one after work." <-- I'm really tired...
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Old 2006-08-01, 15:21   #10
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Effectiveness of mosquito mats is 100%. I couldn't live without them anymore.

Not that a pulse laser with tracking unit to shoot mosquitos and flies off the walls wouldn't be fun, though!

Alex
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Old 2006-08-01, 16:16   #11
mfgoode
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Cool mosquito mats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystwalker
Does anyone know how much power would be needed to bring down mosquitoes?
I was plagued by them last night, killed some dozens, had few sleep and enough time for torturing phantasies...


From Lasers to mosquitoes?

Well if you want to sit up all night and indulge in your fantasies I could recommend better places than your bed esp. in Germany.

But an honest question deserves a not so honest an answer.
BUY A FLY SWAP. It needs no external power.

BTW: mosquito mats in our third world countries are used but better than them are the 3-4 bar ultra violet gadgets.
Most flying insects are attracted to them and just burn up with a crackle with the heat generated.

And if you are sadistically inclined you might even enjoy the 'sacrifice'

With three deadly diseases lurking with every mosquito and rat we dont joke about them viz: dengue,malaria and leptospirosis which are water borne and this is the monsoons dude.
Mally
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