Laser pulses turn water into ice –

On the face of it this doesn’t sound like much but the researchers hope to be able to use the results for optimize crystal growth.

Firing laser pulses into supercooled water creates ice crystals at specific locations in the liquid.

Using laser pulses to crystallise supercooled water into ice may seem counter-intuitive, but that’s exactly what researchers in Germany and the UK have achieved. Because the pulses can be focused to a specific point in the liquid, the researchers believe that their technique will be valuable for future material and crystal growth studies. (Physical Review Letters 99 045701)

Laser pulses turn water into ice –

Laser based flight simulation

While not precisely flight simulation with lasers (what would that be like?) Jenoptic has developed a white light projector system using lasers. This system greatly reduces power consumption and heat production and potentially provides for a much greater dynamic range. The AVIOR system is up and running on a number of projects and will soon be integrated with Airbus simulators.

RDE and Jenoptik have already been working successfully together for several years. RDE will be fitting the Jenoptik technology to three Tornado flight simulators for the German armed forces. One system has already been installed and is in operation. Work on the installation for the second simulator will start during the course of this year.

The use of state-of-the-art laser technology also means in particular that the laser projection system offers savings in the day-to-day operation by comparison with conventional projection systems which are still based on analogue technology. The RGB laser (red-green-blue) provides for projections of ultra-high quality moving images and on differently shaped projection surfaces. Over the last three years Jenoptik has continued to develop this technology specially for use in flight simulators and planetaria. The AVIOR laser systems now intended for use in the technologically highly sophisticated so-called Level D flight simulators in the civil aviation market, represent the result of years of development work and mark the high point to-date in a new, future-orientated technology from Germany.

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Detecting gravity waves with lasers

BBC News writes

One of the great scientific experiments of our age is now fully underway.

And the experiment is a doozy.

The GEO 600 has gone live in Hanover, Germany and its goal is to measure gravitational waves using a laser driven interferometer. A very large interferometer.

Interferometers are used to detect disturbances in a particular medium. Holographers frequently use interferometers to detect vibrations in their working environment or to look for working details with the lasers they use.

"If there is a supernova in our vicinity during the next couple of months, our chances of detecting and measuring the resulting gravitational waves are good," said Professor Karsten Danzmann, head of the International Centre for Gravitational Physics, which is jointly run by the Max Planck Society and the University of Hanover.

Additional information after the jump.

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