A masing grace
August 15, 2012 5:33 PM Subscribe
posted by ancillary (49 comments total)
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Using spare chemicals, a laser bought on eBay and angst from a late-night argument, physicists have got the world's first room-temperature microwave laser working
."Mark Oxborrow, a physicist at the UK National Physical Laboratory in Teddington [...] came across a decade-old publication by Japanese researchers suggesting that when the electrons in pentacene are excited by a laser, they configure such that the molecule could work as a maser, possibly even at room temperature."
"...the MASER has had little technological impact compared to the LASER because getting it to work has always required extreme conditions that are difficult to produce; either extremely low pressures, supplied by special vacuum chambers and pumps, or freezing conditions at temperatures close to absolute zero (-273.15°C), supplied by special refrigerators. To make matters worse, the application of strong magnetic fields has often also been necessary, requiring large magnets."
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