Chinese Scientists Develop Strongest Sound Laser to Date

Chinese Scientists Develop Strongest Sound Laser to Date

A team of scientists in China has developed a powerful laser that emits particles of sound rather than light. This “sound laser” is considered the most powerful of its kind and operates by using a one-micrometre-long silica bead that is surrounded by a reflective cavity. Unlike traditional lasers that emit photons of light, these lasers release phonons – particle-like chunks of sound.

The modified architecture of the sound laser has significantly increased its brightness, allowing it to deliver a tenfold amount of power compared to previous designs. This advancement has also extended the operating time of the laser, making it capable of functioning for over an hour. Phonons, the particles emitted by sound lasers, are less impacted by liquids, making them effective for imaging watery tissues and deep monitoring.

The applications of sound lasers extend beyond medical imaging and monitoring, with potential uses in optoelectronics, terahertz-frequency ultrasound, signal modulation, and manipulating nanoparticles. Additionally, due to their ability to emit sound in the terahertz frequency range, these lasers can be used in security applications such as revealing hidden objects in airport scans. Known as Sound Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (SASER), these sound lasers create a uniform beam of sound waves on a nano scale, with the first successful SASERs developed in 2009.

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