Researchers at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have announced that they have created the first digital laser in the world.
The conventional laser has no control over the light it transmits or has expensive optics that controls the output. The new digital laser light can be controlled and this might change the way gadgets that have laser component operate.
“This ground breaking development is further evidence of the great potential we have in scientific innovation – that the world’s first digital laser should come from our country is testimony to the calibre of scientists that South Africa has,” Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom said.
“Our digital laser uses the LCD as one of its mirrors that is fitted at one end of the laser cavity. Just as with LCD televisions, the LCD inside the laser can be sent pictures to display. When the pictures change on the LCD inside, the properties of the laser beams that exit the device change accordingly,” said Prof Andrew Forbes, leader of the mathematical optics research group.
Nearly all electronics in our homes use some sort of laser technology, from DVD players, to Surgical instruments, bar code scanners and printers. It is safe to say that this new tech might change the electronics arena in years to come.