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Pigment-Free Feathers Inspire Mirrorless Laser

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NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 11, 2011 — Bright, colorful birds, the feathers of which get their color not from pigment molecules but from a largely random distribution of embedded air pockets, are the inspiration for a new mirrorless laser developed at Yale University. The Rufous-collared kingfisher. (Image: Jakob Wijkema/PLoS Journals/Wikimedia Commons) In a traditional laser, light is temporarily trapped inside a mirrored cavity, where it can be amplified by a gain medium. Although in the past 10 years researchers have developed mirrorless lasers that trap light with internal nanostructures that scatter light in...Read full article

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