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Having Fun With Green Lasers

Sep 13, 2008
Today, just about everyone owns a red beam laser pointer. Whether it has been used at work in conjunction with a PowerPoint presentation or to amuse yourself by teasing your cat or dog or, better yet, used to plant a red dot on your friend's forehead, red beam lasers have been around for a while and contributed to many fun moments in the lives of otherwise sober techno-geeks and non-geeks as well.

But now the novelty of red-beamed laser pointers has worn off. They're nothing new to see, and almost everyone has one. It's a good chance that even your grandma, who has no idea what PowerPoint even is, has one. If you want to get the best technological toy out there, you've got to move to the next level.

Any techie knows that the red beams use 650 nm wavelengths. Powerful new laser pointers on the much improved 532 nm wavelength are now available on the market. And do you know what the more intense frequency creates? It creates a green beam.

Green goes further and shines brighter than red, meaning that it can highlight objects from a greater distance. Instead of just pointing the beam on your friend across the room or the PowerPoint slide behind you, you can now direct the green beam on clouds and constellations in the sky. It's so powerful and bright that it's even visible outside in the sunlight.

In fact, if you use this laser outside and happen to point it at an airplane, it's so powerful you could find yourself in a bit of trouble with the government because pointing a sighting device at a plane could get the feds investigating what other reasons you might have for pointing a powerful laser beam at planes. Can your old little red laser beam get you in that kind of trouble?

When you point it at something, the pointer doesn't just produce a tiny dot on its target, either. You can see the entire beam traveling all the way there. People seeing your beam will think it's a light saber. How cool is that? Think of the new possibilities for light saber swordfights.

A green laser pointer is at a whole separate plane from the old-style red laser pointer. For a true green, a pointer needs a green direct injection laser diode. These diodes could be potentially dangerous if handled by the public at large, so they're not even available wholesale. So this complicated process follows to keep hazardous material out of peoples' hands. (And only the geeks in the room will understand a word of it.)

The green laser pointers you can buy on the market now are all using the very impressively named Diode Pumped Solid State Frequency Doubled technology, which gets shortened to DPSSFD, which is good for everyone. What this means is that an infrared laser diode pumps out 808 nm which is then altered to 1,064 nm which is then shot into a crystal that doubles the frequency to produce the green beam at 532 nm. (With frequency, smaller numbers mean stronger, but you knew that right? Only a geek actually read this paragraph.)

Needless to say, green laser pointers are the rave among the geek elite. They've been around since 2000, but not so easy to find outside of technical settings. They're not cheap--you can pick up a red pointer for less than 10 bucks, and a green one will set you back 50 or so--but who can resist this little piece of geekdom? You know you want one. Yeah, you really need one.
About the Author
Have you been searching for a beautiful green 150mw green laser pointer gadget? If so, you should consider picking up the 150mw green laser pointer gadget by checking out our review.
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