Lasers needtwo things to generate beams

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Lasers needtwo things to generate beams

Postby mmodiy1 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:45 pm

Medical researchers from Harvard University have created the first "living laser"; a biological cell that's beengenetically engineered to produce a visible laserbeam.

Lasers needtwo things to generate beams. They need a gain medium thatamplifies light, and an arrangement of mirrors to concentrate andalign that light.

Normal lasers, ever since their invention in the 1950s, usesynthetic gain materials like gases, crystals and dyes to amplifyphoton pulses. But professor Seok-Hyun Yun and colleague MalteGather, instead used green fluorescent protein GFP, which is usedto make jellyfish bioluminescent Madden NFL Mobile Coins, as their gain material.

The team genetically engineered human embryonic kidney cells to produce GFP. They then placed a single cell between two mirrors. In terms of sizes:the mirrors were spaced 20 micrometres apart 20 millionths of ametre, and the cell was just 15 to 20 micrometres.

When the team ran pulses of blue light through thekidney/jellyfish combo, a visible laser beam shot out. It onlylasted for a few nanoseconds, but the light could be easilydetected and carried useful information on the properties of thecell. The cell also left the experiment unharmed.
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