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Argon Helium Neon Three Gas Laser

Jun 4, 2012
Alright all you laser historians & experts:

I recently stumbled across an excerpt from Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science - Tokyo that gives mention to a Argon Helium Neon gas laser produced in 1984. Officially it reads "first ever double laser system", not triple, but I think that is simply due to translation errors, regardless, it mentions made by Fuji Film for use as a light source for a document scanner - which in theory would be a white light source.

The article/document title is "FUJI MONOCHRO SCANNER SCANART30" which if you try googling returns literally 0 search results (pretty sad state of google). It takes going to the Japan National Museum of Nature and Science's website and typing in the document number 104310491017 in order to find it. I would post the link to the document but I doubt I have enough posts or rep to do so.

Never heard of such a laser, and since google does not want me to find anything anymore the first thing I did was check through Sam's Laser FAQ, nope nothing. Then sifted through numerous white papers, theses, and research publications, and patents - still no luck. Finally managed to find out the original research was potentially done by Takashi Fukui who has published quite a bit of work in the study of lasers and quantum physics. This only came about due to me writing my own code to scrape for every mention of specific combinations of the original document title and ion \ gas lasers between 1984-1985. This returned an ISSN for a published collection: Japan Printer (in Japanese) volume 68, issue 5, page 43-49, 1985. No access to it.

So what is this thing, and why no information of a 3 gas laser for the production of white light??? I understand the argument for Ar/Kr being easier etc. but the technology was well known by 1984 so why reinvent the wheel?


Jun 18, 2012
I don’t know but I’ll take a stab at it. The helium is used in argon lasers normally but the neon is used with helium to transfer energy and make the transition lines thus I’d expect them to compete and the neon to win. I guess you could get both lines working but I think it would be very unstable. He eve you never saw it come to market. This is a pure guess.