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Daydreaming About a Pink Laser


New member
Jun 3, 2020
(Warning: This is a daydream post and not a real attempt at being scientific/practical. At best, it could inspire scientific discourse. At worst, everyone can point out its flaws and it could lead to an educational discussion in that way)

So as many of us know, pink/magenta is not a spectral color and therefore has no wavelength. Instead it exists because two spectral colors at opposite ends of the visual spectrum (red+violet or red+blue) combine in our visual perception and brain to create the color. If you mix together red and blue in an RGB laser (or any RGB light source), you get magenta. And of course a laser that outputs red and blue light simultaneously is not a pink laser in the true sense. There is no pink light generation going on. It is merely a combination of red and blue.

This is where the daydreaming begins. Imagine if instead of relying on diodes outputting predetermined sine waves of electromagnetic radiation at a certain wavelength, we had an "optical function generator" that could create custom-shaped waves of light, similarly to an existing function generator that creates waves of sound or physical motion. This would potentially grant instant access to any spectral color laser we could imagine, but that's just the beginning. I found this article from 2012 that claims to have created a machine like this in a lab by manipulating IR lasers. Maybe someone with a bit more technical understanding than I have at the moment can read that article and see if there's anything interesting going on there.

But where does pink light come in? Well, I made a graph combining two sine waves, one with a period (wavelength) of 405 and another with a period of 635 to represent violet and red. The x-axis is nanometers and the period of the NEW waveform is the least common multiple of 405 and 635, at x=51435 (shown by the red line).
Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 10.49.43 AM.png
So my question for all the optics and color enthusiasts out there is this: If we were somehow able to program an optical wave generator to output this exact waveform with a high magnitude of precision, repeating after that red line, would the color appear pink? Would red and violet still combine to magenta even if their waveforms were mixed before entering our visual system?

If the answer to the previous questions is yes, and someone made a laser that outputted this exact waveform, wouldn't that be a legitimate pink laser?


Well-known member
Feb 23, 2020
This my friend is called a Free Electron Laser. It will work, but at the moment the technology has not advanced enough for any of us to be able to afford it let alone build it into a handheld laser

The IR lasers in that experiment were used to manipulate hydrogen atoms to presumably control the motion of electrons

Unown (WILD)

Well-known member
Staff member
Sep 4, 2020
I always wanted to make a pink laser. LIke gazer said it would be too expensive that way. For now we need to settle with two diodes combined. I think the best diodes to use would be single mode diodes and a dichroic mirror.
Apr 14, 2021
I didn't read the article, yet. Just looking at that wave though, it looks like to me it would pulse the colors, not mix. I've seen waves like that before, but I believe they were rotational periods, ( measuring microwave radiation I think don't quote me) of pulsars and magnatars in collisional orbits. Was a really interesting read. The chaos is insane, then they collide, and poof, dead quiet. Nothing, noda, zilch. Just dead silence like nothing every happened.

Maybe you can get the pink laser from twisted light? Superimposed polarization, sounds feasible.

superimposed like quantum. Force the wave to be two wavelengths at once. Something like entanglement, But Superimposed.
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