|MadSci Network: Physics|
7Hello Ty, I must admit that I have never heard of a Tesla laser, but I'll try to develop a theory as to what it is. In light of trying to be a good scientist, remember that this is only a thoery, nased upon the limited information I have to work with - namely, Tesla coil and laser. First off, I think you meant to say Tesla; not telsa. Nikola Tesla was a scientist who was a pioneer in generating lightning-like bolts of electricity. This was done by creating a transformer with a high voltage and current capacity primary coil with relatively few turn of heavy gauge copper, which surrounded a secondary coil with many more turns of a lighter gauge copper. In theory, sending 1 volt of alternating current (or 1 volt of pulsating direct current) into a ten-turn primary side of the transformer would produce 10 volts coming out of a 100-turn secondary side. This is a 1:10 turn ratio transformer. This, of course, assumes 100% efficiency; something never acheivable. Unklike a normal transformer, a Tesla coil uses no ferro-magnetic core to transfer the magnetic flux from the primary to the secondary, because the bult-up magnetic field in the core would saturate and take too long to collapse and actually transfer the flux to the secondary. Therefore, an "air core" transformer is created; the flux travels thru air, which does not delay the transfer. Now, instead of 1 volt being sent through the primary, lets send 1000 volts thru it, and increase the "turns ratio from 1:10 to 1:1000. By simple multiplication, you can see that the theoretial output of the secondary would be 1 million volts! Now comes the laser. A simple gas laser uses (usually, but not always) a single gas like neon, argon, helium, carbon dioxide, etc. It is contained in a long tube, with a mirror at each end. One mirror is curved to establish a precise focal point and is almost totally reflective; the other is flat and mounted at the Brewster angle. I won't get into the Brewster angle - it refers to the diffraction of light through various substances; your teacher can explain this to you. This second mirror is only partially reflective so that the laser beam (photons) can escape once a sufficient energy level has been acheived. This is accomplished by applying a high-voltage direct current to the gas thru electrodes placed at either end of the tube. As the molecules of the gas gain electrons from the high-voltage current, they are raised to a new, high energy level. This energy level is unstable because the molecule has more electrons than is normal, and some of them fall to a lower energy level to achieve their normal state. In doing so, they release the excess electrons in the form of light (photons). These photons bounce back and forth between the mirrors, until a sufficient number of them have the combined power to escape thru the partially transparent mirror - the "business end" of the laser. Let's now try to combine the Tesla coil with the laser. Many substances can be made to "lase". It has even been done with Jello, orange juice, and other unlikely materials. In order to lase, a substance must be "pumped" to the high energy level (excess of electrons). Some are easy to pump; other not so easy. I am theorizing that the Tesla coil, because of its' extremely high voltage output, is used to pump otherwise unlikely substances, probably gases, to the level needed to lase. Or, it may be a more normal gas like helium/neon in an extremely long tube, which would require a very large pumping charge. Or, the subance might require a high- frequency charge pump. The Tesla coil would have an advantage here because the core, being air, can transfer the flux to the secondary almost instantaneously. A normal transformer cannot because the ferro-magnetic core slowly releases its' energy to the secondary, and increasing the input (primary) frequency would, at some point, interfere with the collapsing field of the core. So you see, there are many possibilities - some more plausible than others. It is your job, as a scientist, to develop a hypothesis, test them by applying known laws of physics, electronics, chemistry and mathematics, and developing your own conclusions. Then, submit your hypothesis and supporting evidence to teachers and peers and have them try to "shoot holes" in your theories. Good luck! But remember - Lasers, even the "fountain pen" type diode lasers, can do irreparable damage to the eyes and other sensitive tissue. Always use protective eyewear, and make certain others are not in your line-of-fire; either directly or from reflection from shiny surfaces. Also, remeber that lasers, like the carbon dioxide laser, emit their "light" in the infra-red spectrum - NOT visible to the human eye, but EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! That's the one used to cut steel! Your not-so-mad scientist, Karl Kolbus email - KarlKolbus@ameritech.net
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