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Healing rays developed

Belarusian physicists develop completely new laser

By Vladimir Yakovlev

At first sight, the device created at the Physics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, is a chaotic mass of lenses, crystals and mirrors, with several electronic components beneath. However, as soon as the necessary tumbler is pressed, everything comes into harmony. Rhythmic clicks are heard and the rays of bright emerald and crimson begin to pulsate.

“Three lasers are united, with one being the primary source of energy,” explains the inventor, doctor of physical-mathematical sciences, Sergey Tikhomirov. “These help to create an ultra-short pulsed laser emission, lasting 30-50 femtoseconds. Our achievement is unique in using a solid state pulsing laser to work a femtosecond generator. It uses less energy, and is more compact and simple to use.”

Scientists already have plans for the unique innovation’s application — in laser microsurgery. The Physics Institute is now developing several samples for use in Belarus and abroad, making laser scalpels more precise. This reduces trauma, as tissues aren’t heated by more than 1-2 degrees. This prevents coagulation, aiding a speedy recovery. The laser impulse is extremely brief (one femtosecond is a second to the minus 15th degree) — using a ray travelling at a speed of 300,000km per second over a width of less than the thickness of a human hair.

In 2012, the new laser system is to be improved, entering its design-and-experimental stage. This will allow the Physics Institute to produce research and semi-commercial units. It is currently being developed in the infra-red ray physics laboratory, now headed by world famous academician Nikolay Borisevich — who used to head the Academy of Sciences of the BSSR and has long been involved in laser technologies. His laboratory has also created a unique spectrometer of ultrahigh time resolution, which has involved scientists from abroad in its development.

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