Old 02-26-2012, 06:57 PM #1
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Default laser for plasma channel?

hey everyone.. im going to start working on creating plasma channels via laser and was wondering if anyone has done this before... and what theyve found to be most efficient, and what sort of lasers work best

is there a certain wavelength that seems to work best?

am i looking into a continuous beam, or a pulsed laser?

should i use a yag, ruby, or some other type of laser?...

im mostly looking to try this out for remote power distribution, for example, for a test im hoping to power a light bulb from a distance without wires, even if for a momentary flash

anyway, if anyone has done work and research into this so far, id be interested in hearing about your results...

another question i have about general lasers.. ive never actually built a laser from components (flashlamp, gain medium, etc).... but i would consider it if i was confident i could find the neccessary parts to build what i needed...


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Old 02-26-2012, 11:56 PM #2
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Plasma channels?...

You'd need ionizing radiation to create plasma channels, if I'm not mistaken. I.E. UV and lower lasers. Good luck finding a UV laser strong enough that doesn't cost the price of a new car...
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:10 AM #3
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

It -can- be done with a longer wavelength laser of sufficient intensity... but the power density you're going to need is incredible and the plasma is only there for a split second, not continuous. IIRC you can do it with a >10,000Joule pulse of 1064nm with the apropriate focusing lens. So a Q switched high powered NdYAG could do it, but again only as a single low-rate pulse.

I seem to remember seeing some study done on which wavelengths break down air the best and there was a surprise result that green such as 532nm does exceptionally well.

UV is an ideal candidate, especially at the absorption wavelengths of nitrogen and oxygen, since air absorbs them well.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:19 AM #4
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Back up - Start at the beginning. Why do you need to create plasma channels?
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:31 AM #5
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Back up - Start at the beginning. Why do you need to create plasma channels?
He wants to turn on lightbulbs from a distance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jason41987 View Post

im mostly looking to try this out for remote power distribution, for example, for a test im hoping to power a light bulb from a distance without wires, even if for a momentary flash
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:10 AM #6
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Okay, so you want to turn on light bulbs remotely? Why? Aside from welding french fries to a rabid fork and using the tomato vapor generated to induce capacitive mummification in the tungsten, Lasers are probably the worst way to go about this.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:13 AM #7
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Ive been looking into the same thing... Ive seen it done with an ND:Yag laser but theres a company that has been researching this in order to remotely detonate or disable military vehicles and equipment... Ill post back with there website when I find it again
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:27 AM #8
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

Start at close range first. A pulse could start the channel but it would take
High volts to sustain it. Like a plasma cutter.
Also air movement would make it unstable -- like a jacob's ladder.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:17 PM #9
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

a pulse could do fine... household electrical currents are pulsed as well, about 60 times a second via a/c, so a short but repetitious pulse capable of carrying the current might work, ive seen relatively low powered q switched lasers that could generate a plasma field at a rather high repetition, the question is whether or not it could repeat fast enough to power a simple light bulb...

and remember, at this point im not doing this for any kind of practical use, just experimenting with proof of concept and a light bulb seems like a simple enough goal

ive heard from other projects that an 808nm laser worked very well, as well as the 532nm seemed to get rather good results, even better than a lot of UV wavelengths, but thats someone elses project and i wouldnt accept that as fact unless i tested this myself

i think what ill do is focus experimentation on q-switched nd:yag lasers... maybe eliminate variables by using all the same power laser and test how well each wavelength generates plasma, and then focus on the best candidate for the higher outputs

if i could get a short, on the order of nanoseconds, pulse to carry an injected electrical charge to the targeted object then it would be a success, so again, sustaining it isnt neccessary, in fact, i was planning to use pulses
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:37 PM #10
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

I heard about company testing this method for self defense taser. Not much detail though ..
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:38 PM #11
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

hmm.. self defense laser eh?.. that could be useful, or animal control i guess... probably less dangerous to stun an animal this way than tranquilizers that often miss, take too long to take effect (animals just run into the street and get hit, or runs someone off the road) and many dont even wake up from the drugs...

i guess someday someone could use one of these powerful enough to use as a 2 mile long lightning rod to such the energy from storm clouds, or to transmit electricity from an orbital solar array for vast amounts of power... the applications of an electrolaser are vast
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:05 PM #12
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

I've toyed with a few ideas of using a laser to create a line of plasma channels that could possibly attract lightning, however the laser power required is tremendous. You'd need your own power station to run it, for a start.

That and attracting lightning isn't something most people would want to do themselves
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:32 AM #13
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Default Re: laser for plasma channel?

i wouldnt want to attract lightning either, but the possibilities for the technologies to be eventually used as a clean source of energy is certainly there.... as well as orbital solar arrays beaming energy from space back to us

right now im actually doing research into the construction of lasers, and laser crystals, flashlamps and such.. ive actually been meaning to construct a small foundry for melting metals... might be fun to try making my own crystals with the czochralski process... its just too bad a simple propane burner is about 100 degrees too cold.. though acetylene, or propane with pumped oxygen would do the trick, and probably cost less than an electric arc furnace

im currently a student of chemistry, soon to add a major in physics to go with it.. so the experimentation of these things alone is just as fun for me as usable results
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