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Old 09-25-2008, 11:51 PM #1
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Default Hi From Kansas U.S.A.

Hi, I saw a few youtube videos and saw the power for some of the lasers show there and my interest was instantly piqued. I am completely new to lasers but I showed my son and he also has great interest in lasers.

We are thinking about building a laser for his science class and giving a demonstration on the subject. (Totally for extra credit *;D )

My son is 10 and in the 5th grade, I am 36 and well out of school *:

We don't want to build a laser that will hurt anyone in the demonstration, but would not be able to afford enough safety glasses for everyone in his class. *(Any suggestion as to how to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated.)

He wants to provide safety information concerning lasers as well as how they can be used to help people and of course the steps we took to build our laser. *

In the demonstration he want to be able to pop a balloon and light a match, so I am assuming that we are looking to build an infrared laser stronger than the ones you can buy at the local gas station.

I don't know if its possible to build a laser safe enough to present to his class yet strong enough to be able to do the things he is wanting to do in the demonstration. (As before any advise would be greatly welcome.)

Well Thank You for taking the time to bring us such a great forums and a wonderful wealth of knowledge and Thank You for taking the time to read my post.

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Old 09-26-2008, 12:23 AM #2
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Default Re: Hi From Kansas U.S.A.

Hi & Welcome to LPF. To try to answer some of the questions you asked. For building a weak red laser,IMHO your best bet would be to buy a cheap red laser somewhere, take a Dremel to it CAREFULLY, cut it apart, take the guts out, & disassemble it. Then reverse engineer it for the class. As long as it's NOT pointed AT anyone, no goggles would be needed. About lighting matches & popping black(best color) balloons with an IR (Infra Red), you will find plenty of ways to build them cheaply on this Forum, you'll just have to make sure that there are NO REFLECTIVE things in the direction you point an IR Laser, so you don't get a reflective retinal burn. Get a good sized box2 ft. X 2 ft. X 2 ft. & paint the inside FLAT BLACK, & do all your experiments pointing INTO THE BOX for safety. GOOD LUCK & I hope I was some help to you. rob 8-)
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:41 AM #3
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Default Re: Hi From Kansas U.S.A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix77
Hi & Welcome to LPF. To try to answer some of the questions you asked. For building a weak red laser,IMHO your best bet would be to buy a cheap *red *laser somewhere, take a Dremel to it CAREFULLY, cut it apart, take the guts out, & disassemble it. Then reverse engineer it for the class. As long as it's NOT pointed AT anyone, no goggles would be needed. About lighting matches & popping black(best color) balloons with an IR (Infra Red), you will find plenty of ways to build them cheaply on this Forum, you'll just have to make sure that there are NO REFLECTIVE things in the direction you point an IR Laser, so you don't get a reflective retinal burn. Get a good sized box2 ft. X 2 ft. X 2 ft. & paint the inside FLAT BLACK, & do all your experiments pointing INTO THE BOX for safety. GOOD LUCK & I hope I was some help to you. * rob 8-)
I would stick with lasers of known output and safe for a 10yo to handle. If it his project for class, you may want to check with his teacher as to their rules for having an item in his project that have been banned from most schools. I would stay with a 1-5mw red pointer as you can be pretty sure that it wont exceed 5mW which is said to be safe by the FDA. Also avoiding green lasers may be a good idea unless you get one that is guarunteed <5mW. Sites like DX carry lasers that are said to be 5mW but have been measured up to 20mW or more by other menbers, I have had a few myself.

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Old 09-26-2008, 02:23 AM #4
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Default Re: Hi From Kansas U.S.A.

As cool as some burning tricks would be, your best bet is to stay class IIIa (less than 5mW) You could throw dust in a 5mW green's beam to bring at the beam and you could do florescence/GITD tricks with a 5mW blu-ray.
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