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  • South African Olympic Team Includes a Laser Tech
Jul 2012
PRETORIA, South Africa, July 2, 2012 — One South African archer is turning to laser science to improve her accuracy and gain an advantage at the 2012 London Olympics.

Karen Hultzer will represent her country at the Olympics with the help of coach and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) senior laser technologist Johan Steyn. He is currently building a device similar to a laser pointer that Hultzer will use during training to improve her accuracy.

“One of the methods is to strap the laser pointer on the athlete’s head,” Steyn said. Hultzer will be able to use it only during training, but it could help diagnose and correct her form.

Although the device will help during training, it cannot compensate for factors such as weather, in particular the wind.

“I think she will do well because she is used to training in bad weather conditions in Cape Town,” Steyn said.

At the Olympics, Hultzer will compete against 64 other archers, some of whom play archery for a living.

“I feel humble and honored,” Steyn said. “Archery, art and science are what I live for.”

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laser pointer
Handheld optical laser device containing a semiconductor or DPSS source. The output is corrected via internal collimating optics. For typical use the output is reduced to eyesafe operation power. (5 mW)
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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