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Polariton Beams Provide Coherent Energy for 250x Less Power

  1. Jun 6, 2014 #1
    Scientists have developed a new type of laser, called a polariton laser, which can be generated using 250x less power:


    Polariton beams are said to have properties of both matter and light, since polaritons are a combination of a photon and an electron-hole pair. Could these unique properties provide benefits for a laser-sintering or electron-beam melting type of device?

    After all, if energy-savings are involved, then that would be one way to improve performance. Furthermore, electron-beam melting is said to be useful for its very high energy levels, which allow it to melt higher-temperature metals, and to shape parts at high-resolution, since the heavier mass of the electron means its DeBroglie wavelength is lower.

    What might be the pro's and cons of applying polariton beams towards additive manufacturing applications?

    Likewise, could polariton beams be used for spectrometry, or LIDAR, or even fusion energy (a la NIF) for the benefit of these applications?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2014 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    Lasers are generally pretty efficient. The little laser diode in your computer mouse, for example, is about 50% efficient in converting electrical energy into light energy. That's why your mouse does not heat up when you leave it on.

    So I am quite certain a polariton laser is not 250x more efficient than a laser. I think it simply means that polariton lasers can be made a lot smaller and very low power, which may be useful in applications involving microelectronics.

    Since industrial applications for lasers, such as very accurate cutting of materials, require very powerful lasers, I expect that conventional lasers will continue to be used.

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