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What exactly do you use <300mW laser pointers for?

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Plus lasers make the internet possible. The backbone of the world's entire telecommunications network is based on fiber optics, with lasers pumping all the light in the fiber optics. Those are IR lasers, mind you, but still semiconductor laser diodes.

Tons of applications, tons of cool science.
 

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Why do people go out and take pictures of roundabouts... why do they spot trains, birds and other stuff... why do people buy little trains for thausands of dollars and waste like 2 bedrooms of space in their house just to play with it ?

There is a little man with diodes in his eyes, flexdrives and rkcstrs working as his heart sitting on my shoulder and telling me to be amazed by lasers.
Telling me to pop ballons, cut black tape, point out stars, build projectors.

Call it what you want.

WE LOVE IT !!!
 

aryntha

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Well, really, not everything in life has to have a pragmatic and useful end. There are people who collect the weirdest things, really. If you stick to things that only have a 'useful end', that's not too healthy! Why do people drink beer and watch sports? That doesn't produce anything 'useful' either. The reason? People need to fool around and recreate to stay sane.

Lasers are about a "2" on a scale of 1-10 as far as weird collections go.

To me, lasers are like nerd eye candy. People collect art, guns, cars, beanie babies, sports cards... why not lasers?

I also collect odd LEDs. I have some of the strangest wavelengths anyone's never seen.

Hobbies and collectors have existed since human civilization began - humans like to do things recreationally, and they like to collect. It's perfectly normal.

Some of the other expensive hobbies I have include audio (I collect rare vacuum tubes), and photography (I have a big collection of impressive lenses for my DSLRs.) ... Lasers fit in perfectly with this!

Pretty simple - it's entertaining. And really, that's enough justification for it. Anything that gives you enjoyment in life... Shooting a beam to the mountain across from me makes me laugh and smile.

And after a hard day of work, that's worth it. Even if there's no "point" to it.
 
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Glutton

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The other day I asked my friend why he spent so much of his time doing graffiti, and spending hundreds of dollars on paint just to go to the train yard and risk a felony to do something pointless.

He responded by saying "why do you make lasers"
 

Lasher

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How many of us played with a flashlight as a kid. I remember running around the house in the dark and thinking how cool it was that this thing in my hand could cut through all that darkness.

This is just an extension of our childhood. We all LOVE our toys :)

Add to that this simple question. How many people on this forum have not seen Star Wars lol.

Lasher
 
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I've never seen Star Wars, Star trek or any other similar production xd

Same happened to me this morning. One of my friends told me that he spent 130€ (almost 200$) to see the Barça-Madrid football match. When I asked him how the hell could he have spent that amount of money on it, he answered me "why did you spend 100€ in a laser?"

Anyway, my collection is based on having the strongest beam possible in every color, for the heck of it. People collect all kind of things, and why? Because they just find that the thing is "cool". Then they save them in an album/box and waste their money on it for the only purpose of owning the rarest units.

We build our own lasers, show them to people, show them to the forum, play with them, and collect them.

Btw, I still haven't find ANYONE who doesn't make a huge suprise/admiration face when I show them any of my builts/lasers.
 

roosl

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The best answer posted to this is #21, where aryntha begins:
Well, really, not everything in life has to have a pragmatic and useful end.
I also like the answer, "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand". I use that a lot, but then I like to point out some great and inexpensive fun you can have with a laser and a set of optics.

People (outside this forum who don't get it) do like to see "cool" things, and as another posted, use your camera too, and demonstrate with some awesome pretty pictures. Then, most folks begin to see.

I posted a few such shots here.


Speaking of Star Wars, last night one of the DirecTV channels ran IV and V back to back. Off-topic trivia: In the scene where they don stormtrooper suits to fool their way into the detention area of the Death Star to get Leia, they tell a guard that the Wookie is "being transferred from cell block 1138". What is the significance of 1138?
 

RA_pierce

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Lasers are just cool. Period.
The science behind them is incredible and seeing an active point of light projected across many miles is just mesmerizing.

I think many of us enjoy playing with lasers because they are very much a symbol of the future. All of us have some curiosity as to what the next years will bring...

... For many I think it is also a desire to learn. I enjoy learning new and interesting things and I like to pick up new hobbies. Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we live, and there is always something new to learn. It never gets old.

If you're asking whether or not there is a practical use at a hobby level...
Is "fun" not a practical use?

As others have pointed out, people collect and buy many different things for enjoyment (fancy rocks, shoes, art, etc.)... we just happen to spend our money and time on building and collecting lasers.
 




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