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Light Humor, So what's the minimum power to ...

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Light Humor, So what's the minimum power to ...

There's an old saying, "A man with one watch knows what time it is, but a man with two watcher is never quite sure!" First of all, I'm not going to ask the question, because I've found out the answer starts out with, "It depends..."

I find it interesting to see the different range of answers one can find if you search hard enough... Without any extra lens to help focus the beam, most are saying, 55mW will burn holes in thin black plastic, but a few do list 30mW. WL lists this as 75mW to 150mW. I've heard that their lasers are underspecification, but is it that bad? :D

If you want to pop black balloons, most list 75mW as the minimum, but there are videos of people doing it with 35mW and 50mW lasers. We all know that this only works on black balloons and not white balloons. However, I never considered that lasers are "racist", see video, Warning strong language in video.

Stephen Fry pops balloons with a laser pen - QI - Series 10 Episode 13 - BBC Two - YouTube

For these guys, popping a balloon is old hat, why not light a match inside a balloon?

How to light a match inside a balloon - Smarter Every Day 36 LASER MONTH - YouTube

Trying to find out the minimum power to light a match, assume it has been painted black with a felt tip marker, might be done with 35mW or then again maybe it's 95mW. :can: I'm not sure how much power these guys used, but they did a cool job for close up and super slow motion.

Lighting a Match with a Laser in Super Slow Motion (960fps) - YouTube


So with numbers all over the map, I think I can safely answer the age old question, "What's the minimum power to ...", the answer, "Just enough to work and it it didn't, you didn't have enough power or a tight enough beam." :shhh:


Bob Diaz
 

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I have some green tipped matches that refuse to light with anything less than 100mW (w/sharpie), and
even then just barely, so it depends on the laser AND the match. Also, getting lit and playing with lasers
is a bad mix.
 
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Because the number of variables impacts the answer, I though it would be fun to make light (no pun intended) of the subject.


Bob Diaz
 

FutureOne

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Oh man!? I thought I was going to read some quality light physics jokes! :(

I guess I'll have to provide a couple:

Q: Where does bad light end up? A: In a prism.

Q: What is the simplest way to observe the optical Doppler effect? A: Go out at and look at cars. The lights of the ones approaching you are white, while the lights of the ones moving away from you are red.

hahaha!
 




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