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Thread: Green lasers

  1. #1 Green lasers 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Not planning on getting one, but I was wondering how they work, apparently they can point out stars, obviously it can hit the star itself, so does it hit the light from the star or is it all hogwash?

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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Heidelberg, Germany
    The green laser light, like with any other laser, is scattered at dust and water molecules in the atmosphere. This is why you can see it. The longitudinal profile of the beam is not straight but shaped like a Gaussian curve eventually leading to a broadening of the beam. The intensity of the laser light governs its range; the green light is especially well suited, because our eyes are most sensitive in that spectral range. This altogether gives you the impression that you can "reach the stars". But the actual range is typically a few kilometres. Some of them are so powerful that they can reach airplanes flying at high altitudes.

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