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I Ionizing air specifics

  1. Nov 12, 2017 #1
    So i have been looking at a 1microsecond pulsed 250milliwatt 980nm laser. I watched a video where a guy outputed 50millijoules at 5 nanoseconds and achieved air breakdown. Im wondering since maybe mine is higher energy it will do the same or i need faster pulses?
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  3. Nov 13, 2017 #2


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    The second example used a power of: Energy/Time = (50x10^-3) / (5x10^-9) = 10MW
    This greatly more than your 250mW.
  4. Nov 13, 2017 #3
    The output is 250000W not 250mW sorry about that
  5. Nov 13, 2017 #4
  6. Nov 13, 2017 #5
    In the video of the guy that achieved air breakdown he used 2 lasers focus to one beam, would tgat help my case
  7. Nov 13, 2017 #6


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    what video ?
    please give a link :smile:
  8. Nov 13, 2017 #7

    You have to read the description cause the video is just the ionization
  9. Nov 14, 2017 #8
    if i have a lower nm wavelength like UV and a little bit of a lower W per pulse, since there are more electron volts per photon will i have a better chance at ionizing?
  10. Nov 14, 2017 #9


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    I saw a large, high power CO2 laser at a trade show once, breaking down air with pulses about every 10 seconds. Very impressive. The laser and its support equipment were about the size of a small car, and the setup probably cost $100,000 or more. This is not really a project for a high school student. Maybe when you get to university and start helping out in the laser lab, you will get to work with high power lasers like that (and you will have experienced people teaching you about laser safety).

    Probably for your current project, you should just make something that looks like it is ionizing air (use a spark gap at the focus position).
  11. Nov 14, 2017 #10
    Heres te thing though and i know this sounds dumb. I always like to create new things, finding better ways for things to work. Everything can be make better, cheaper. Yes i am a kid but I believe if put enough research in i can find a better way. Call me dumb but look at how many thing thought couldnt be better or cheaper and now they are. Just like the computer for example, the basics of a computer back in the early days before you could buy one for personal use they were 1000s of dollars. Now you can get one for 200 or less. Now i know i might not be able to drop the price significantly but a dollar is a dollar and they add up. Also i am typing a paper completely on photoionization, all the processes and all that so if i cant achieve it someone else can.
  12. Nov 14, 2017 #11


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    No reason to! There's nothing wrong with being interested in STEM and being creative and curious. Keep on learning and keep on making things to help your learning.

    Slightly off-topic -- have you seen the movie "Real Genius"? I think you would enjoy it a lot. Check it out if you haven't seen it already. It's one of my favorite movies... :biggrin:


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