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Scientists Create First 'Water-Wave Laser' That Can Be Used in New Drug Therapies

Nov 30, 2016 09:19 AM EST
Water droplets
A team of researchers from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology has created laser emissions from the interaction of light and water waves, calling it "water-wave laser." The new laser could prove useful in tiny sensors used for testing new drug therapies.
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

A team of researchers from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology has created laser emissions from the interaction of light waves and water waves, calling it "water-wave laser." The new laser could prove useful in tiny sensors used for testing new drug therapies.

According to the study published in the journal Nature Photonics, the creation of the water-wave laser is the first time that two unrelated fields of study, nonlinear optics and water waves, are combined.

Different from how normal lasers are created -- by exciting electron atoms via energy that's absorbed outside -- the water-wave laser is formed through water wave oscillations using a liquid device to produce radiation.

Professor Tal Carmon, who supervised the study, said the possibility of creating laser from water and light has not been explored because of the huge difference between the high frequency of light wave oscillations and low frequency of water oscillations -- the former at 1,014 oscillations per second while the latter at 1,000 oscillations per second. Because of this difference, the frequency of energy transmission needed to produce lasers is low, according to Science Daily.

To solve this problem, the researchers designed a special device where an optical fiber delivers light via droplets of octane and water. The tiny droplets allow the light and water waves to pass through each other more frequently; thus, creating more energy that the water-wave laser emits. To increase the interaction between the fiber optic light and the vibrations on the surface of the tiny droplets, the researchers used highly transparent runny liquids.

Currently, the creation of the water-wave laser allows scientists to further study the capabilities and potential applications of interacting light and fluid at a smaller scale.

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