5 Quick Facts You Need To Know About Photonics

5 Quick Facts You Need To Know About Photonics

There are various types of science that study different aspects of our world. While an astronomer examines space, those studying human anatomy understand the body. Just about every kind of science use lasers for many reasons. Discover five quick facts you need to know about photonics in this article.

What Are Photonics?

Photonics is a field of science that focuses on light waves, including how to generate and manipulate them. This comes in handy for laser technology, where we bend and diffract light to make the technology work. Understanding photonics is essential because it surrounds us every day, from our cellphones to applications in modern medicine.

The Technology Isn’t New

The age of lasers depends on what you’d consider old, albeit this description is a bit gray when it comes to technology since it seems like things change every day. The first time scientists used lasers was in the 1960s. Interestingly, ‘laser’ is simply an acronym for:

  • Light
  • Amplification by
  • Stimulation
  • Emission of
  • Radiation

What’s interesting is that scientists didn’t call the first laser, “laser,” but instead MASER, which stands for:

  • Microwave
  • Amplification by
  • Stimulated
  • Emission of
  • Radiation

The difference between the two is that a laser uses light, but MASER relies on microwave radiation waves.

There Are Different Classes of Lasers

Scientists have four different classes of laser, and the category a laser falls into depends on the power level. We use a class-1 laser in CD plays, laser printers, and some lab equipment. On the other hand, class-4 lasers are dangerous to your eyes and skin, but professionals use them for various medical applications.

The Technology Surrounds Us

Most people may not realize that we use lasers and rely on the science of photonics every day. For example, let’s say you have a full day at work, a dental appointment, and finally need to run to the grocery store. You could see different types of lasers in all of these.

First, you may utilize this technology through a laser printer at work, as many office buildings have them. Dental offices can use lasers for many uses, including teeth whitening and treating tooth decay. And in our example, you ended your day at the store where lasers scan the barcode. Finally, while CDs are less common now, if you happen to play one in your car, this also utilizes photonics to play music.

There Are Many Types of Lasers

Another quick fact you need to know about photonics is that there are various types of lasers. This list includes gas lasers, fiber lasers, semiconductor lasers, and solid-state lasers. Each of these pieces of technology manipulates light slightly differently. This is why the laser technology used by NASA differs from the kind you’d see in a surgical room.

Buying Laser Technology

To properly function, lasers require various pieces of equipment, including laser diode holders, since they aid in temperature control. At Arroyo Instruments, we sell everything you need to use this technology. Dive into the world of photonics through the use of lasers.