Laser Discharge Lamps

Description
The word laser stands for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." A lasing material, a crystal for example, amplifies light energy fed into it from an external source such as a flash-lamp. Scientists and engineers refer to this as "pumping" the laser.
These objects are experimental discharge lamps used to pump a crystal of yttrium-aluminum-garnet that has been treated with neodymium. Dating from about 1967 these specialized discharge lamps are similar to high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps that are commonly used in street lights. They are unusual in that they are made with clear tubes of artificial sapphire. Corning Glass made the material, called "Corstar Sapphire," that was then used by Westinghouse to make lamps. The clear tube permitted more light to pass than the typical milky-white material used in ordinary HPS street lamps, increasing the energy fed into the laser crystal.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
laser light pump
date made
ca 1967
maker
Westinghouse Lamp Company
Physical Description
mercury (fill gas material)
sapphire (overall material)
metal (electrodes material)
Measurements
overall: 20.5 cm x 1 cm; x 8 1/16 in x 3/8 in
ID Number
2001.0084.01
accession number
2001.0084
catalog number
2001.0084.01
patent number
3566177
subject
Laser
Lighting
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Science & Mathematics
Lasers
Energy & Power
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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