2 Inch Improvements

July 21, 2006 at 11:29 am | | cool results

We use a few parabolic mirrors on our optics table to align and focus a couple of beams to a tight spot. It’s important that these mirrors be well aligned because power density is really important for our (non-linear) purposes.

The mirrors need to be replaced from time to time. Last week the big 2 inch mirror was removed, as shown in Figure 1. Replacing the mirrors can be a little

Figure 1. It’s dirty, also the coating is improper.

worrisome. Of course, there is no signal without the mirror in place, and proper alignment can be difficult because one of the beams is almost invisible. No worries, though. Once the system was working again, we got twice the previous signal, as shown in Figure 2. 2x is mighty fine.

Figure 2. Sort of hard to tell if this is good or bad. It’s OK.


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  1. Your mirror looks like it was on the losing end of a 3 way fight involving a wolverine and a ball of steel wool.

    Comment by kendall — July 21, 2006 #

  2. i got a spam about this, once.

    Comment by sam — July 21, 2006 #

  3. hey sam, we use these OAPs all the time- they do go bad, but here’s what i know:

    Janos has spotty quality
    Protected alum/silver is NOT protected and oxidizes like hell

    Surprisingly, unprotected gold is the best for longevity. just cant touch/wash it but you can blow dust off with a gentle stream of air.

    Comment by ilya — July 22, 2006 #

  4. hello people
    my name is mathew humphrey and i am based in the uk.
    i am an artist and i am trying to find a community of scientists / phyisists that i may be able to liase with to discuss my ideas in some sort of forum. i know not that much to be honest about how to even approach the scientific community.
    my project is fashion based – briefly it is this.
    i want to use the light from the sun to fade dyed material – specifically i would like to be able to use stencils on fabric to produce images through the fading process. some one metioned parabolic mirrors may help me to be able to do this.i understand that its the u.v. light that causes the molecules in the dye to break down. i dont really understand how i could put together some equipment to really do this sucessfully or whether it indeed could be done. please could you or anyone help point me in the right direction so that i may find the right forum of people that could help me.


    thanks for your time

    Comment by mathew humphrey — March 22, 2007 #

  5. weird. mat, you should just go to your local university and walk over to the chemistry department. ask a graduate student for a few pointers.

    Comment by sam — March 22, 2007 #

  6. Hi guys,
    I was looking for some gold mirrors and saw your awful mirror above. When I was a grad student, ugly optics bothered me so I solved all the worlds dirty optics problems. Brush or spray on, peel off.

    Try it. http://www.photoniccleaning.com (and I hope you get some nicer looking mirror photos). :-)

    From one Pchem guy to another,

    Comment by Jim — November 5, 2007 #

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