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Physics teacher needing your advice

Dingus

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Hello gentlemen,

My name is Adam and i'm a highschool physics teacher in the mid-west portion of the US. I'm getting ready to start teaching a unit on optics in the late spring and I stumbled upon this forum.

After reading posts and jumping around to different websites lastnight I figured it was time for me to post to get pushed in the right direction.

It seems that there isn't as many laser manufacturers as I had thought. Yes I am a noob and this is news to me.

Can you guys point me in the right direction of good places to look? Im wanting to buy a few lasers: one in the mid range 1-300mW, and one from the 1000mW range.

I saw a lot of videos of young people burning matches and other nonsense, but these would be great for classroom demonstrations.

Thankyou in advanced fellas, I apologize if i'm a total noob and irritating to the veterans on this site.

Adam
 

Stix62

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Hi Adam

I wish the phsyics teacher had done that sort of thing when I was at school,,,,jees it was boring,,,it's no wonder I never learnt anything :D

The first that crosses my mind is a classroom full of students, high powered lasers, thats a lot of safety goggles you'll need to be buying also. Have you considered that?
 

lasersbee

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Hello gentlemen,

My name is Adam and i'm a highschool physics teacher in the mid-west portion of the US. I'm getting ready to start teaching a unit on optics in the late spring and I stumbled upon this forum.

After reading posts and jumping around to different websites lastnight I figured it was time for me to post to get pushed in the right direction.

It seems that there isn't as many laser manufacturers as I had thought. Yes I am a noob and this is news to me.

Can you guys point me in the right direction of good places to look? Im wanting to buy a few lasers: one in the mid range 1-300mW, and one from the 1000mW range.

I saw a lot of videos of young people burning matches and other nonsense, but these would be great for classroom demonstrations.

Thankyou in advanced fellas, I apologize if i'm a total noob and irritating to the veterans on this site.

Adam
I hate to put a damper on your Laser search... but as you stated..
you are a Noob to Lasers and it does seem to show.:beer:

1) you had better stick with <5mW Lasers if you are going to use
them in a room full of students with no Laser Eye Protection.

2) the first thing you should have asked when wanting to acquire
300mW to 1Watt Lasers should have been where to buy Laser
Safety Goggles/Glasses for your student's protection.

3) you could (in a controlled test environment) set up a 405nm
100mW laser if all you wanted to do is "burn stuff".

4) it would also be beneficial if you spent a bit more time on the
Forum researching the hazards of High Powered Lasers to
the human eye...


Jerry
 
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Dingus

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I have a HUGE BUDGET for my classroom. So eye safety is not a problem. there are several other teachers that are interested in getting involved. And just like you said, it is extremely dangerous. this will be for lab demonstration only.

I also work with a friend who is a college professor, so we would like to do some demos for small advanced physics labs.

Also any advice on optics sets such as reflecting mirrors etc........

Lasersbee i'm sorry if this post annoys you! I'm sure you get a lot of young people on here who buy a high powered apparatus just to cause trouble.
 

GAtkins

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Just to add on a bit to what Jerry said above in 1), many (most all) of the cheap Chinese imports that say they are rated <5mW are actually much higher power than stated, thus bringing us full-circle to the safety glasses issue.

Glenn
 
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I have a HUGE BUDGET for my classroom. So eye safety is not a problem. there are several other teachers that are interested in getting involved. And just like you said, it is extremely dangerous. this will be for lab demonstration only.

I also work with a friend who is a college professor, so we would like to do some demos for small advanced physics labs.

Also any advice on optics sets such as reflecting mirrors etc........

Lasersbee i'm sorry if this post annoys you! I'm sure you get a lot of young people on here who buy a high powered apparatus just to cause trouble.
I agree with you actually Dingus.. Jerry's just taking the safe road.

For academic use you can use any laser source you can get a beam out of. You don't need a gov't variance for your lasers or personnel or anything like that, so that should help streamline your process. You DO need safety glasses for everyone who will be exposed to output over 5mW, but I'm going to assume since you're a teacher that you have some understanding of the safety aspect.

What sort of beam specs are you looking for? What types of experiments and applications will you be using a laser for?

My first recommendation to you would be to check out OEM Laser Systems, Inc. One of our users, FrothyChimp, works for them.. they're VERY good people with a history of supplying lasers to schools of various levels. I've done business with them myself, their service has been first rate every time.
 
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I have a HUGE BUDGET for my classroom. So eye safety is not a problem. there are several other teachers that are interested in getting involved. And just like you said, it is extremely dangerous. this will be for lab demonstration only.

I also work with a friend who is a college professor, so we would like to do some demos for small advanced physics labs.

Also any advice on optics sets such as reflecting mirrors etc........

Lasersbee i'm sorry if this post annoys you! I'm sure you get a lot of young people on here who buy a high powered apparatus just to cause trouble.
If you don't mind me asking, what state do you teach in? I'm just curious because here in New York we've had HUGE budget cuts that have resulted in my class room sizes to go from ~27 in a class to in some classes having 35 kids in a class. My sister is also a teacher here in New York and she has to pay for most of her class room expenses out of her pocket.

I don't think it would be necessary for such a high power laser for class room demonstrations. Though showing the students what high power lasers can be capable of (Lighting matches/cutting electrical tape) would be very cool to show to the class. But that would require the students to wear laser goggles. On the contrary a small HeNe laser would also be very cool to show the students if you fogged up the room and showed them different types of optics.


Good luck!
 

Dingus

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Thanks for all of the quick replies guys. I work not too far from St. Louis. they have cut many teachers due to budgets but we have a special grant to get things for our classrooms, and so far this year I havn't even touched it.

we are doing experiments showing the differents in different electromagnetism wave lengths. comparing everything from light, xrays, microwaves etc.....

its a very cool class :)
 

Joe Mo

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Thanks for all of the quick replies guys. I work not too far from St. Louis. they have cut many teachers due to budgets but we have a special grant to get things for our classrooms, and so far this year I havn't even touched it.

we are doing experiments showing the differents in different electromagnetism wave lengths. comparing everything from light, xrays, microwaves etc.....

its a very cool class :)
Yeah, get some beam splitters, and all kinds of optics/prisms to show how it affects photons
 
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Thanks for all of the quick replies guys. I work not too far from St. Louis. they have cut many teachers due to budgets but we have a special grant to get things for our classrooms, and so far this year I havn't even touched it.

we are doing experiments showing the differents in different electromagnetism wave lengths. comparing everything from light, xrays, microwaves etc.....

its a very cool class :)
Sent you a PM..
 

lasersbee

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Lasersbee i'm sorry if this post annoys you! I'm sure you get a lot of young people on here who buy a high powered apparatus just to cause trouble.
You don't annoy me in the least if you are as you say... A High School
Physics teacher.

I've been here long enough to have seen several attempts by children
to pass themselves off as professors...

The info EF gave you about OEM Laser Systems would be the way I
would go.. :beer:


Jerry
 

Dingus

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You don't annoy me in the least if you are as you say... A High School
Physics teacher.

I've been here long enough to have seen several attempts by children
to pass themselves off as professors...

The info EF gave you about OEM Laser Systems would be the way I
would go.. :beer:


Jerry
HaHaHa, thanks Jerry. After reading up on all of the reviews and different forums in the last 24 hours, that seems like it would be the case. Thanks for being generous!
 

BShanahan14rulz

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We did a diffraction experiment in highschool that was very interesting. We had a HeNe and a diode-based red, and calculated the wavelength of the diode based red using a slit (teacher had a fancy slit with a known width, makes it easier) and a ruler. Oh, and some math.

Nowdays, different wavelengths are easier to come by. I still recommend a gas (like helium-neon) or solid state (like 532nm green) because those have known wavelengths, and you can check your calculations to see if you're right. You can also get a diode-based laser and measure it as an unknown wavelength.

So yeah, I say get a HeNe lab laser, a 5mW green pointer (for presentations and for experiement), and some optics including a slit and various lenses and brackets. You can always add more stuff later on as budget allows.
 

Sigurthr

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Tsteele93: Looks like Rhodamine dye, for a dye laser.

OP:
Yes go with OEM Lasersystems, they have some of the best goggles on the market and you're sure to get top quality lasers from them!

Another route (if you needed to thin your budget slightly and order from China) would be Laserglow. Laserglow sells CNI stuff which is usually the best quality chinese stuff you can get, dealing directly with CNI is an unbelievable hassle as well, but aside from that there is nothing wrong with buying CNI stuff.

As stated above; you NEED OD4+ goggles for everyone who will be in the room at the time the lasers are on. NO EXCEPTIONS.

I recommend getting at least; one 405nm, one 450 or 473nm, one 532nm, and one 635 or 650nm. That way you can set up dichroic mirrors and do beam combination for RGB "white" light, then you can explain the difference between true white light and false white light that our eyes see as white. I'd recommend a standard/single power level for the 473, 532, and 650nm units (perhaps 200mW) and have them with analog modulation, so you can adjust the output powers down to get the correct ratios of R to G to B. You can get the 405 as high as needed for whatever you're planning, but analog modulation is always a plus. It's good for fluorescence and various thermal experiments but is on the edge of our vision so isn't very visible. 200mW RGB and 700mW V sounds to me like a pretty awesome and complete setup.

Also, thanks for being an awesome physics teacher. When I took physics we did not have a single demo, not one experiment, no visuals at all, it was entirely dictation and reading from the book. We didn't even have a blackboard.
 




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