LASEROD PART GOES TO THE SOUTH POLE
October 19th, 2012
Laserod has recently been working with Stanford University to laser process a part destined for a South Pole Telescope that is exploring the origins of the universe. The telescope, called BICEP 2 (an acronym for (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization), the second in the series of BICEP telescopes, is within walking distance of the geographic South Pole. The BICEP telescopes probe the origins of the universe by studying Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) light, the afterglow from the Big Bang. Stanford’s Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed asked Laserod to pattern a thin aluminum coating on a sheet of flexible, stretchable substrate as an infrared filter for telescopes in the BICEP program.
Telescopes at the South Pole: BICEP2 (right) and South Pole Telescope (left)
BICEP2 is shown above and is located at the far left of the photo inside a dish-antenna-shaped shield. Shown at the far right is a 10-meter reflecting CMB telescope called South Pole Telescope (SPT). BICEP2 will be succeeded by a more advanced, third-generation telescope, called BICEP3, and will occupy the same space shown above. The IR filter that Laserod helped produce will be used in BICEP3 to pass light from the early universe, the CMB, so it can be analyzed for evidence of “inflation”, the faster than the speed of light expansion of the universe when it was a fraction of a second old. So far, inflation is a theory waiting to be proved. CMB telescopes such as BICEP3 might be able to provide this evidence. Inflation is a missing piece of the puzzle of the birth of the universe, the Big Bang.
The filter made by Laserod is blocking the infrared heat radiation from the sky and letting the CMB radiation pass through. The camera that’s recording the Big Bang’s CMB operates at a very low temperature, a quarter of a degree above absolute zero where all motion stops.. Everything at “normal” temperature outside the telescope radiates in the infrared, so this radiation has to be prevented from entering the telescope to let the camera maintain its low temperature.
Actually, the CMB comes to us from 400,000 years after the Big Bang when the universe went transparent. Before that, the universe was too hot and dense to let light travel too far before slamming into electrons. As the universe cooled and electrons combined with protons to form hydrogen atoms, light was able to travel freely through space. If inflation really happened, there is a chance that its gravitational shockwave left an imprint in the polarization of the CMB.
BICEP3 is being built by a collaboration of Stanford, Caltech, JPL, Harvard, U. of Minnesota, NIST, the University of British Columbia and Toronto University. The Stanford Team is lead by Professor Chao-Lin Kuo and postdoctoral fellow Zeeshan Ahmed.
Laserod Technologies is pleased to announce a novel laser patterning process for silver nanowire, which is featured in an article in Information Display, September issue. The new process, developed by Terry Pothoven, Laser Processing Manager of Laserod, exhibits significant performance, cost advantages and productivity over conventional wet etch of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). As the article points out, manufacturers of touch screens could benefit materially, since silver nanowire has significant advantages in circuit flexibility, electrical isolation and cost over ITO. Laserod has developed a laser patterning system that can produce thousands of small parts per day on substrates coated with silver nanowire. To download the article go here.
Laserod is pleased to announce our association with Shanghai ShunXiang Laser Technology Ltd./Mr. Qianchun Huang, which will serve as a sales representative of Laserod in China, complementing the activities of the Shanghai Institute of Laser Technology. Mr. Huang, the president and founder of Shanghai ShunXiang Laser Technology, has over a decade of experience in the laser industry, having served in a senior sales capacity for one of the larger laser companies in Asia. He and his team have abundant sales experience and excellent knowledge of customer needs for laser micromachining and laser patterning throughout China.
Mr. Huang can be reached by email at email@example.com and phones at 139-16034026 and 021-37517180 in Shanghai.
Laserod Technologies signs a joint venture agreement with the Shanghai Institute of Laser Technology (SILT) and engages a former SILT scientist now resident in the U.S., Mr. Simon Zhou, to coordinate Laserod projects in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. SILT, which is associated with Shanghai University, began as a research institute in the 1980s, and now serves as a provider of leading edge laser services to the Chinese R&D and commercial markets. The emergence of high tech manufacturing in China, particularly touchscreen technology, has given new impetus to the use of high precision lasers in manufacturing and micromachining.