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Laser "microscope"

flogged

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(...)
 
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TheGr8Revealing

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was floating around here for a bit, got bored, went to reddit, and was sent back here lol.
 

Uranium

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Holy crap talk about a viral video. 20,000 more views in one night. Those youtubers crashed my website! I put an inbound link to this thread in the description, so c0ldshadow, you may have a rather large influx of new members.
 

ossumguywill

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Whoa! You got lots of views from teravolt.org... over 8000. That's an impressive leap over just a few days.

Cool, even adafruit picked it up!
 
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Uranium

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Whoa! You got lots of views from teravolt.org... over 8000. That's an impressive leap over just a few days.

Cool, even adafruit picked it up!
Yeah, those over 9000 views used up all my bandwidth till september.

But I want to see other people try this!
 

Uranium

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that explains a lot. I sent the guy a message telling him to link directly to the video.
 

SpaceCase

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"Which of you is going to be the first to try this with semen?"

haha very intrigued :p
 

ossumguywill

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I'm not so sure.... one of the guys who pioneered microscopy used the primitive glass spheres to view his sperms IIRC. Maybe a laser will work.
 

Sam F

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Hi everyone,

I'm here after seeing all of the hullaballoo over these really cool laser microscope videos.

I am a high school biology teacher, and I would really like to perform this experiment in my classroom. I think it would be an incredible introduction to the world of single-cell organisms. (And I bet the physics teacher would be just as interested in the optics side of it).

Before I spend a bucketload on a super-fancy laser, however, I've got some questions:

  • I understand that you need a fairly high-powered laser, at least 50mW. Is that right?
  • Are there any other technical specifications for the laser? I'm a laser newbie. Someone at work mentioned getting "single mode" lasers. Is this a requirement? Is the green color important?
  • About how much should I expect to spend for such a laser? Do you have good recommendations for online stores?
  • How replicatable is this experiment?
  • How easy is it to focus the beam on the water drop?
Sorry if that's a lot of questions -- I'm just excited to get this in front of my kids. Any help you could provide would be great!

Thanks,
Sam
 

ossumguywill

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Hi everyone,

I'm here after seeing all of the hullaballoo over these really cool laser microscope videos.

I am a high school biology teacher, and I would really like to perform this experiment in my classroom. I think it would be an incredible introduction to the world of single-cell organisms. (And I bet the physics teacher would be just as interested in the optics side of it).

Before I spend a bucketload on a super-fancy laser, however, I've got some questions:

  • I understand that you need a fairly high-powered laser, at least 50mW. Is that right?
  • Are there any other technical specifications for the laser? I'm a laser newbie. Someone at work mentioned getting "single mode" lasers. Is this a requirement? Is the green color important?
  • About how much should I expect to spend for such a laser? Do you have good recommendations for online stores?
  • How replicatable is this experiment?
  • How easy is it to focus the beam on the water drop?
Sorry if that's a lot of questions -- I'm just excited to get this in front of my kids. Any help you could provide would be great!

Thanks,
Sam
Hey, I'll try to help out. First, yes, you do want a semi-powerful laser. The brighter, the more visible the image will be. If you have a very dark room you can perform the experiment it, lower power will be OK. 50mW should be visible up close (a few feet) or in a dim setting.

"Single Mode" refers to the shape and quality of the beam. You WILL want a single mode laser, but most green lasers are. I won't explain all the physics to you, but a quality green laser will have a smooth, single mode beam. It's better to use the green for 4 reasons that I can think of- first, it's very visible. Second, as I said, the beam is usually good quality. Third, it will give you somewhat more refined edges than a red laser for a few reasons. Fourth, it's not close enough to ultraviolet to ionize and kill the microbes.

That depends on the quality. In my opinion, a cheap green laser from a company called o-like will work fine for this experiment, they are a chinese company that sells inexpensive lasers but the quality is better than most similar companies. The thing to watch out for is the wait time, it took a few weeks for my laser to arrive.

I haven't done this experiment, so I can't answer the last two.
 




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