Abstract

A new laser configuration has been devised utilizing a mercury mirror as one reflector. When the laser is oriented vertically, lasing occurs. This beam can thus be used for the precision alignment of vertical structures.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. A reviewer has pointed out to the authors that others have used the horizontal property of a mercury surface in optical instrumentation. For example, Rayleigh [Nature 59, 533 (1899)] used such a scheme for a vertical Michelson interferometer.
  2. W. E. Mueller, J. C. Thompson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 18 (1969).
    [CrossRef]
  3. The authors are indebted to Horace Furumoto and Harry Ceccon who developed this pulsed N2 discharge laser and lent the authors a discharge tube to use in the experiments.

1969 (1)

W. E. Mueller, J. C. Thompson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 18 (1969).
[CrossRef]

1899 (1)

A reviewer has pointed out to the authors that others have used the horizontal property of a mercury surface in optical instrumentation. For example, Rayleigh [Nature 59, 533 (1899)] used such a scheme for a vertical Michelson interferometer.

Mueller, W. E.

W. E. Mueller, J. C. Thompson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 18 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Rayleigh,

A reviewer has pointed out to the authors that others have used the horizontal property of a mercury surface in optical instrumentation. For example, Rayleigh [Nature 59, 533 (1899)] used such a scheme for a vertical Michelson interferometer.

Thompson, J. C.

W. E. Mueller, J. C. Thompson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 18 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

A reviewer has pointed out to the authors that others have used the horizontal property of a mercury surface in optical instrumentation. For example, Rayleigh [Nature 59, 533 (1899)] used such a scheme for a vertical Michelson interferometer.

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

W. E. Mueller, J. C. Thompson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 18 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Other (1)

The authors are indebted to Horace Furumoto and Harry Ceccon who developed this pulsed N2 discharge laser and lent the authors a discharge tube to use in the experiments.

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

General configuration of a true vertical laser.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Gravitationally sensitive mirrors that can be used instead of mercury: (a) mirror floating on mercury or other liquid, (b) conical mirror substrate resting on bottom, (c) similar to (b) except vibration damping provided by the surrounding viscous liquid.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Schematic of pulsed N2 true vertical laser apparatus. The discharge tube is 3 mm bore by 19 cm long. The separation between the lower Brewster window and the iris is 2 cm. The iris to mercury distance is 25 cm. The nominal high voltage was 16 kV, the high voltage trigger used to break down the pressurized 1-cm spark gap was 20-kV peak. The electrical components consisted of the charging resistors R = 1.2 kΩ and TV doorknob 500-μF, 30-kV energy storage capacitors. r represents the output impedance of the power supply. The discharge tube was operated at 10 Torr of dry N2. The nominal pressure of the spark gap was 30 psi.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Photograph of the true vertical laser. The mercury mirror is out of view beneath the optical bench.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Variation of the average laser output as the azimuthal angle of the laser discharge tube is varied.

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