Technology
Green lasers, red balloons and robot dogs…

Dsc05105 Lots of times I’ll start a project and get a little sidetracked. Here’s a good example. I’m working on a write up of a high powered green laser, but I wanted to test out which colors of balloons would pop with the laser, I was pretty sure that the red ones would (and did) but the pink ones seem to pop sometimes, and the purples ones were also popable. Along with the laser there are some robot projects (Modding an old Nintendo bot) so anyway, here is a video and some of the pictures of my experiment(s) in progress…
Green lasers can pop red balloons or burn holes through red objects. When you shoot a green laser through the air, the green light is absorbed because of its wavelength.

Robot
Click here to view video (Quicktime 9MB).

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8 thoughts on “Green lasers, red balloons and robot dogs…

  1. How powerful does a high power green laser need to be in order to pop balloons or burn through a shirt… 50mw? I have a 10mw green laser, but it couldn’t warm my fingertips.

  2. I believe that power is less important than energy density when burning objects. This might not hold for materials with high thermal conductivity as a small area has a larger edge length to internal area ratio and so will dissipate the heat more easily.

    Back to the point, for balloon bursting only a very small hole is needed to start the pop. So using a pair of lens to narrow the beam and then return it to a parallel beam would seem to be a possible way to go without needing unusually powerful lasers. Also a red laser exploding a green balloon would be cheaper ;-}>

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