High-Power Laser
Background

The Wicked Lasers Spyder III Arctic that I used to own was never really a project, but more of an interest of mine. In my time owning this 1-watt blue laser I couldn’t think of many practical things to do with it. I was always impressed with its high-power output which could pop balloons, light fires and be seen clearly in the night sky from far away. I realized after making my purchase that I would have preferred the green version of the laser because the beam is so much brighter to the human eye than the blue laser despite the same power output, however the green laser was far more expensive.

In the near future I will be able to afford the time, research and money involved in constructing my own green laser using high-power diodes easily obtainable online, emitting up to 6 watts of light energy as of 2019. However, from what I’ve seen, high powered laser diode technology is continuing to improve and become publicly available and affordable, so I may be able to find much more powerful diodes to work with in the coming years.

Laser physics is very interesting to me and I intend to do more research on the topic, as what I learned in my electricity, magnetism and optics courses in college and high school left me with more questions than answers. I ended up selling my laser so that I could afford to build my computer which I still believe was a good decision, especially since the laser’s value increased between when I purchased it and when I sold it. I am sad, though, that I can’t play around with focusing lenses to melt through plastic, light paper on fire or etch words into wood anymore. I look forward to building my own even higher-powered laser and conceptualizing practical ways to use it. I like the premise of using lasers as beacons in situations where that kind of location identification is useful, though not pointing any at passing planes of course, so I may look into that more in the future.

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