Lasers of a feather light better

Researchers have developed a new kind of laser that mimics some of the world's most beautiful birds, copying the nanoscale structure of their brightly colored feathers to capture light.

By | May 14, 2011

Image: Frank Wouters, Flickr

IMAGE: FRANK WOUTERS, FLICKR

Researchers have developed a new kind of laser that mimics some of the world's most beautiful birds, copying the nanoscale structure of their brightly colored feathers to capture light. Many lasers are created using holes or pockets of air can trap light, giving it time to build up a sufficient number of photons to emit extremely high-intensity light. Birds like kingfishers or parrots achieve their brilliant colors in a similar way -- trapping wavelengths of light so that they build up before being emitted. Unlike the highly ordered or completely random patterns traditionally used in lasers, the air pockets of bird feathers are neither ordered nor random, and mimicking these patterns may be a more efficient way to produce laser light, according to research published last week in Physical Review Letters. The researchers also determined that by altering the spacing between the holes, they could adjust the wavelength of the laser light, Wired reports.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute
    Daily News That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute

    The Broad Institute and Rockefeller University disagree over which scientists should be named as inventors on certain patents involving the gene-editing technology.

  2. How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body
    Daily News How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body

    Millions of measurements from 23 people who consumed extra calories every day for a month reveal changes in proteins, metabolites, and gut microbiota that accompany shifts in body mass.

  3. Neurons Use Virus-Like Proteins to Transmit Information
  4. DOE-Sponsored Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Cut 100 More Jobs
AAAS