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A piece of laser history... or a memory to shattered dreams

Devil_Master

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Check out the article I've found:
Build your own LASER! | Modern Mechanix
It appears that the November 1964 issue of Popular Science had an article that taught people how to build a ruby laser. I wonder if anyone reading this forum was already around back then to attempt such a build (or eventually, if someone attempted that build later on, after finding that magazine in a basement or at a sale), and in case of an affirmative answer, I wonder if the result of following those instructions really worked as promised (that's what I meant with "a memory to shattered dreams").

Incidentally, page 3 of the article shows a photograph of a laser gun that was built at Stanford University, that could pop balloons (but not red ones!)
I have to admit I chuckled when I read that, because it reminded me of this forum!
 
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ARG

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Very cool, thanks for sharing!
 

BowtieGuy

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DM, that's a great 50 yr. old article, thanks for sharing! :beer:

Back in 1964 they were saying "....practical uses are still scarce".
It looks like their "AstroRay" raygun was one of the first laser hosts!
 
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IsaacT

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I remember reading this back in 7th grade(2005; I am NOT that old :p ) when I was intrigued by lasers and going through old publications. I had saved it to a floppy disk so I could try it when I had a career and money. Lol.

Interesting tid bit...the LASER was known as a solution looking for problems back then. My how the problems have lined up so nicely. These went from being lab creations with little to no actual uses to being used in such a dizzying array of fields so quickly.
 
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upaa27

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That is an extremely cool find and kinda motivational in a way.

+rep for you sir
 
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Devil_Master

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I remember reading this back in 7th grade(2005; I am NOT that old :p ) when I was intrigued by lasers and going through old publications. I had saved it to a floppy disk so I could try it when I had a career and money. Lol.
Ha ha! I did exactly the same thing once, including saving the plans to a floppy disk, except that I did it in 1998 (were floppy disks still around in 2005? :p ) and the plans were not for a ruby laser, but for a 1W gas laser. I still remember they suggested to use a salt window for the beam exit. I think I still have that floppy, and I have an old computer lying around. I'm gonna try to see if I find those plans again.

EDIT: The pages I had downloaded are still online. It wasn't a 1W laser, it was a 5 to 10W laser. And here they are (90s web design FTW! :-D )
http://icecube.berkeley.edu/~bramall/laserhowtohtml/build_laser.html
I had also archived one more bookmark about a sealed CO2 laser, which I found again thanks to the Waybackmachine: http://web.archive.org/web/19980129233903/http://lolita.colorado.edu/emarc/people/DAVID/LASER/
 
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IsaacT

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I had archived tons and tons of documents, plans, historical notes, etc.
 

Devil_Master

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I had archived tons and tons of documents, plans, historical notes, etc.
That's what I did too. Not only about lasers, but also about Tesla coils, cyclotrons (I wanted to build a particle gun) and rocket engines (I also wanted to build a jetpack). Of course, as soon as I could make calculations about power and weight, I realized why there are no particle guns and jetpacks around yet. :-D
Still later, however, I did build a "particle gun", but of course, it isn't powered by a cyclotron.
 
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hakzaw1

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I missed this thread-- bumping so more can read and enjoy~~!! +6
nice find & share
 

seoirse009

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Thanks for posting devil, and thanks for bumping hakzaw. This is very interesting because my wife's grandfather has been collecting science related magazines since he was a kid. I should see if he has this issue! There is a good amount of meat on that bone for research also.
 

BobDiaz

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I was just a kid when that article came out, but I do remember it. There was no way my Dad would build one or want to build one, but that didn't stop me from dreaming about it. :drool:

Once the Fall school semester is over and I have more free time, I plan on building a few lasers.


Bob Diaz
 




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