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Fun with the Argon, and friends. (Pic Heavy)

Speedy78

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Fired up the Argon tonight and decided to take some pictures with what appears to be a PBS I found and a diffraction mirror.

Hope you enjoy!


Pure argon goodness


Little bit of 532 added




Little bit of 445 added




Just looks like a tangled mess!


445-488ish-532


70mW 445 vs 10mW 532

Next winter I think I will leave the heat off and just run the Argon.
Man can it heat up a room!

Thanks for looking!

Speedy78
 
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Help out a fella who has never seen an Argon. How do you get the various frequencies? How many beams does an argon-ion laser generate? I'd love to know more.

Thank you
 

Speedy78

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It all depends on the laser head for how many lines it produces. Some one like Daguin would be able to answer that better. It sends out 1 beam composed of different wave lengths if its a multi line system. To split them up I used a diffraction mirror which is basicaly a prism ina mirror.
 
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Argon Ion lasers are capable of outputting several wavelengths of light. Up to 10, in the visible range, if I recall correctly. As you may already know, Helium Neon lasers are also capable of lasing at different wavelengths, such as red, orange, yellow, and green.

What differs between a HeNe of one color and one of a different color are the mirrors. In a HeNe, it's the mirrors tuned for a specific color that decide what color it will output. HeNes are typically tuned to only one color at a time because their output is so limited. I think a multi-line HeNe is possible, but I've never heard of one.

Argons, on the other hand, are powerful enough to output multiple lines (or colors) simultaneously, but only if the mirrors (or optics) are configured for multi-line. There are many Argons tuned to only one color, in order to squeeze out more output at that color. When shopping for an Argon Ion laser, if multi-line is important to you, be sure to look for that, because many are single-line lasers.

I should also note that Krypton Ion and Helium Cadmium lasers are, among others, ones that can also output multiple lines simultaneously. Some Kryptons are single-line, but tunable, using an internal prism. By rotating a prism, internally, one controls which line of the spectrum hits the mirror and is bounced back in for amplification.

And in case you're not aware, an Argon-Krypton mixture is capable of combining the colors from both gasses, and can yield a white light, or one that can be modulated as RGB.

There are other gases and colors, but those are far less common than the ones mentioned.
 

ZRaffleticket

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Man I wish mine was a multiline. Gotta ask, how different in color is 488nm from the full multiline beam?
 
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Thanks for the info guys! I so want to look into a gas laser...but, I may be forced to live on my own if I do...My gal would flip her lid. Time for me to build a laser-safe bunker!
 
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Man I wish mine was a multiline. Gotta ask, how different in color is 488nm from the full multiline beam?
In the first two pics, where you see the beam being split into 6 colors, they are, from right to left, 458nm, 476nm, 488nm, 497nm, 502nm, 515nm.

Thus your 488 is the bright cyan colored one fourth from the left.
 

LtKernelPanic

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Help out a fella who has never seen an Argon. How do you get the various frequencies? How many beams does an argon-ion laser generate? I'd love to know more.

Thank you
It depends on the optics kit. Argons all lase at 351.1 nm, 363.8 nm, 454.6 nm, 457.9 nm, 465.8 nm, 476.5 nm, 488.0 nm, 496.5 nm, 501.7 nm, 514.5 nm, 528.7 nm, 1092.3 nm with the 454.6-528.7nm range being in the visible spectrum.


The real prize for gas laser hobbyists is an Argon-Krypton because it can also lase in the red (along with yellow, blue and green) wavelengths which allows you to produce a white beam or just about any color provided you have the right optics.

Wikipedia has some basic info here:

Ion laser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Man I wish mine was a multiline. Gotta ask, how different in color is 488nm from the full multiline beam?
The main beam of a ML argon is dominated by the 488nm line at lower powers. IIRC once I crank mine up to around 5-6A the green lines start lasing and you see a slight shift in color towards the green end.

I planned on taking some pics of some of my lasers including the ML Argon last weekend but didn't have the time. I'll try to take some this week sometime and post them.
 

Cyparagon

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It depends on the age/condition of the laser head. In general, a multi-line laser will look slightly greener than a single-line.
 

ZRaffleticket

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In the first two pics, where you see the beam being split into 6 colors, they are, from right to left, 458nm, 476nm, 488nm, 497nm, 502nm, 515nm.

Thus your 488 is the bright cyan colored one fourth from the left.
I meant all of those wavelengths combined vs 488nm alone ;)

Cyparagon and the LtKernelPanic answered though, I'll know what to expect when I go down that road :thanks:
 

Speedy78

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If you look at the top picture the beam reflected off the PBS going accross the split up lines is the beam out of the laser. You can conpare that to the pure 488 it crosses over in the diffracted beam.
 

ZRaffleticket

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Ah, but pictures don't always show up right. If it's just that much greener as the pictures show then that's great, thanks again :)
 
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Argon Ion lasers are capable of outputting several wavelengths of light. Up to 10, in the visible range, if I recall correctly. As you may already know, Helium Neon lasers are also capable of lasing at different wavelengths, such as red, orange, yellow, and green.

What differs between a HeNe of one color and one of a different color are the mirrors. In a HeNe, it's the mirrors tuned for a specific color that decide what color it will output. HeNes are typically tuned to only one color at a time because their output is so limited. I think a multi-line HeNe is possible, but I've never heard of one.

Argons, on the other hand, are powerful enough to output multiple lines (or colors) simultaneously, but only if the mirrors (or optics) are configured for multi-line. There are many Argons tuned to only one color, in order to squeeze out more output at that color. When shopping for an Argon Ion laser, if multi-line is important to you, be sure to look for that, because many are single-line lasers.

I should also note that Krypton Ion and Helium Cadmium lasers are, among others, ones that can also output multiple lines simultaneously. Some Kryptons are single-line, but tunable, using an internal prism. By rotating a prism, internally, one controls which line of the spectrum hits the mirror and is bounced back in for amplification.

And in case you're not aware, an Argon-Krypton mixture is capable of combining the colors from both gasses, and can yield a white light, or one that can be modulated as RGB.

There are other gases and colors, but those are far less common than the ones mentioned.
Aye! You are from Santa rosa! My hometown!
 

Speedy78

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Here is a good shot I figured out to compare the multi-line to any of the lines it produces. My camera picks up the true color really well.



Here is what I did to get it.



Going through a PBS. Reflected beam is then going through a line diffraction grating. Beam that continues through the PBS is reflecting of a diffraction mirror. Aligned them to my licking on the ceiling and snapped the pic!
 




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