Related topics: light · laser beam · atoms · wavelength · nature photonics

X-rays indicate that water can behave like a liquid crystal

Scientists at Stockholm University have discovered that water can exhibit a similar behavior to that of a liquid crystal when illuminated with laser light. This effect originates by the alignment of water molecules, which ...

Laser beams reflected between Earth and moon boost science

Dozens of times over the last decade NASA scientists have launched laser beams at a reflector the size of a paperback novel about 240,000 miles (385,000 kilometers) away from Earth. They announced today, in collaboration ...

Return of the LIDAR

In a peninsula far, far away, a laser shoots into the sky to study the Antarctic atmosphere at Concordia research station.

Ultra-fast laser-based writing of data to storage devices

Modern life revolves around data, which means that we need new, fast, and energy-efficient methods to read and write data on our storage devices. Optical-based approaches, which use laser pulses to write data instead of magnets, ...

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Laser

A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process called stimulated emission. The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Typically, lasers are thought of as emitting light with a narrow wavelength spectrum ("monochromatic" light). This is not true of all lasers, however: some emit light with a broad spectrum, while others emit light at multiple distinct wavelengths simultaneously. The coherence of typical laser emission is distinctive. Most other light sources emit incoherent light, which has a phase that varies randomly with time and position.

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