Remember when I said I was a lighting nerd? Yeah.
So, very recently, diamonds have been used in Raman lasers emitting at 573nm. The teacher in me says that you should know 573 nanometers as landing smack dab on the edge of the green spectrum. The dork in me says “WOW! Diamonds used in a Raman laser, at 573NM?!” Check out the article at optics.org about this very subject when you’re done with this article.
What’s a Raman laser, right? Raman lasers are based on a scattering method by two folks who developed it, and because of its properties, it gets used in devices that amplify an optical signal without having to first convert it to electrical energy, like in an audio amp.
Diamond gets a good rep because of its thermal conductivity – or rather, it’s ridiculously high thermal conductivity. If you know optics, you know that diamond has an Index of Refraction of 2.42. Diamond’s generally a good medium for optics in lasers.
What is “interesting” about being able to use diamonds along with this means of boosting the beam quality of a laser is that with such a high-powered beam of light, a new market of weaponry research will probably open up. Granted I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing – but it is a thing, and a very real thing. Right now, however, this process is being hindered by the ability to reproduce (ie, grow) large, high purity, low defect crystals.
There will be more information on this in the future, I’m sure. This is a pretty important discovery as far as laser technology goes. Nerdiness is over. Have a good weekend.