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Old 08-14-2007, 09:12 PM #1
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Default Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I have decided to start a thread with a difference. Jump 10 years into the future, so today is the 14th of August 2017. Assuming lasers are not banned for sale to the general public. what kind of lasers do you envisage we will be able to buy by then? Either DPSS , direct injected diode, or some hither to, undiscovered technology.

Try and keep your answers sensible (ie no death rays or hand held Phasers).

I for one would like to Imagine that direct injected diodes could be available for almost any colour, for novelty Purposes (ie Keychain pointers, with higher powers available for those who want more, like reds and greens are today) what do you think? is 10 years not enough?

Over to you for your ideas (or dreams) Please include any factual evidence of up and coming technology you may have heard of, or any breakthroughs that maybe over the horizon.

Jase


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Old 08-14-2007, 09:14 PM #2
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I would like to see a death ray or a hand held Phaser

Sorry could not resist.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:16 PM #3
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

Haha , I was waiting for that well at least that is out of the way ;D ;D ;D

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Old 08-14-2007, 09:20 PM #4
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

My best guess, from the latest advances in solid state lasers, would be direct-diode lasers in any wavelength you desire. See the most recent SciAm for an article on nanocrystals and lasers for my evidence: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?art...amp;sc=I100322
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:34 PM #5
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

Thanks Justin for posting that. My guess is that in 10 years time DPSS will be looked back on and will seem very Crude and ineffecient, just like we look back at the old HeNe today and wonder how they squeezed just a few mW of red out of a Huge gas tube and KV transformers.

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Old 08-14-2007, 09:36 PM #6
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

My little dream would be to have a real lightsaber but not in 10 years time for this to happen.
But on a serious note a nice 200mw blue handheld laser will make me a happy chappy...
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:37 PM #7
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

Yeah, as above I have to go with laser technology. In particular, quantum dots - 3D photonic crystals. For those not in the know how, a photonic crystal is a crystal with refractive index variaation in 3D at light wavelengths. The periodic variation causes the material to have a bandgap like semiconductors.

The chemical makeup of the material, the size and the period of the varition all change with bandgap and hence the wavelength that the dots are able to emit. They act like a custom built atom, only with sighly broader spectral lines due to difficulty in manufacturing.

Do a google image search for "quantum dots"
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:41 PM #8
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I would think that they would have laser diodes for cheap prices in many colors like LED's, but then maybe not cause there isn't much of a use of for these colored lasers unless they can make them cheap enough to use for laser pointers. Now that the blu-ray has been developed, there isn't much need for higher wavelengths like green, but maybe they will develop a deep UV dvd player.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:46 PM #9
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

Very interesting Ben, but due to their small size , can a Quantum dot produce a wavelength of light greater than its actual size? (excuse my ignorance on the subject) :-[ By that I mean Lasing and not Flourescence.


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Old 08-14-2007, 10:45 PM #10
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I would like a lightsaber.....
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:53 PM #11
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

One thing you can always do, go back 10 years in time... Where were we then? Look at how technology has progressed since 1997. I know alot of you might say, well it hasnt come that far really. but it has in 1997 there was no braodband internet, no pentium 3, computers had about 64 megs of ram 128 was a real speed deamon. Anna nicole smith was alive, but we had never heard of her, lol. And Deus Ex Machina had just come out. I dont know enough about lasers to apply this to them but maybe someone else can clue us in.

Also take into account we have had no major techno breakthroughs in recent years. We just moved at warp speed along what we already knew to work. So If a major discovery is around the corner that could excellerate things incredibly.

Edit** I jsut realised i didnt even mention what I believe we would see lol.

I know you said no deathray's or phasers but to be honest it wouldnt surprise me if there were such weapons at least in the test phase. We already have laser based weapons int eh form of the "Dassler" and such. Its not that far a leap into the realm of a laser that could be portable enough and powerful enough for a soldier to carry. There are many pluses to a energy/radiation based weapon, with no recoil and instant impact it would be very dangerous. But a laser's fagility would be a problem.

I would also like to see instant data transmission. They already have the capabilities to move 10 gigs a second, with 40 gig jsut around the bend. why cant it be instant?
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:53 PM #12
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I'm hoping for proper Holographic images, not as advanced as the doctor on Voyager, though that would be cool. * Something you could walk around and feel like you could touch, similar to the ones in Star Wars.

On the note of phasers I doubt we will ever see them replace guns. *Just imagine, anything the beam touched would go up in flames instantly !!! *In a single shoot out you could set an entire City on fire and burn it to the ground !!! *Or Jungle !!! *Not to mention that unlike a bullet that has a certain range, if you missed or shot straight through someone the beam is then only limited by the curvature of the Earth.

The other thing I was thinking of was colour changing LDs, like we have colour changing LEDs now. I think that is something they would be able to do in 10 years.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:29 AM #13
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

i think that we are already seeing a bit of a trend here. there havent been many extreme breakthroughs or discoveries in this area lately, but most handhelds are getting more powerful. i think you will be able to buy 1 watt handhelds or something cool like that by then. in all wavelenghts of course.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:34 AM #14
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

you guys do realize the very first laser invented was a ruby laser and could burn through 2 gillete razor blades in 1 pulse. In 1960.. It was a ~2 gillette laser ( a common measuring technique for early lasers... it's still used today for high power pulse lasers )
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:47 AM #15
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

Higher power output, or looking at it the other way, increased efficiency. Instead of 1 hour of use on button cells, we could get 10 hours.

I doubt consumer grade LASERs will increase significantly in power. Too many stupid people to allow the increased power output to be commonly available...if anything, I expect somewhat of a crackdown on "high powered" LASERs like we have, today.

Weaponized LASER systems will definitely increase in power...and reduce in size. But, the sheer impracticality of a simple LASER as a destructive weapon will make it a boondoggle. (Think of the power levels required for vaporization of even a layer of skin) We'll figure out a way to send a particle beam, instead, and the accelerated particles will act as charged micro-projectiles. True phaser...sorry, but I genuinely believe this is around the corner.

If memory serves, Nikola Tesla postulated several ways to build these...essentially open ended vacuum tubes, thanks to his extensive knowledge of fluid dynamics. He supposedly figured out how to maintain a sufficient vacuum (actively) within an open container. Tesla is a personal hero of mine, and his inventions are always a source of inspiration.

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Old 08-15-2007, 06:39 AM #16
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Default Re: Lasers in 10 years time!!!!

I realize both my assumptions have been stated earlier as I was specifically looking for them in other people's posts.
  • Color variable laser diodes... now THAT would be incredible... tune the laser to any frequency you like and you have a specific laser. This can be very useful in so many things and so many fields. Imagine the amount of data you could store on a disk that has 5 layers accessible with different frequencies. If that does take off, it would be revolutionary. I could almost visualize a laser pointer the size of the leadlight with a small LCD on it and you can choose the frequency and then when you press the power button, you have a different color laser!
  • Secondly, I would assume that lasers become more and more efficient. As it stands now, a 5W laser is as bright as a 100W incandescent bulb. The efficiency of these things is horrid and the heat they give off beats LD's many folds. Imagine having a lamp that uses a laser diode as efficient as LED's are today, putting out 5W, and the light is diffused to stimulate the effect of an incoherent light source. People would be all over it. Granted, it would need to be the perfect combination of RGB to generate white light, but it would still be fascinating to see.

One can only hope and dream of what the future would bring... I am actually working on making a tri-color laser pointer with my PS3 diode. I think it would be cool if something like that were commercially made, and available for the general public at reasonable costs. The PS3 diodes are already just $8 a pop, so it's not too far fetched. With the advancement of the quantum dots and the extreme miniaturization of LD's so far, I don't think it's really a dream as much as a matter of enough research and patience.

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