Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Microwave laser fulfills 60 years of promise : Nature News & Comment

Microwave laser fulfills 60 years of promise : Nature News: He came across a decade-old publication by Japanese researchers2 suggesting that when the electrons in pentacene are excited by a laser, they configure such that the molecule could work as a maser, possibly even at room temperature...

But the researchers were filled with doubts — the whole thing seemed too easy...

The laser light excited the pentacene molecules to an energy level known as a metastable state. Then a microwave passing through the crystal triggered the molecules to relax, releasing a cascade of microwaves of the same wavelength.

It was the same principle as an optical laser. "The signal that came out of it was huge," says Oxborrow, about a hundred million times as powerful as an existing maser.

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