I accidentally invented a device to collimate any light source into a concentrated beam... what should I do with it?

I've been umming and ahhing about what to do with this for the couple of weeks since I accidentally invented the thing (I was working on a solar energy device), and I thought you guys may be your usual well-spring of help and advice. Basically I seem to have designed a device which will collimate an extended light source. Any light source. So you could, for example, turn a 100 Watt light bulb into a 100 Watt laser. Or a square meter of sunlight into a kiloWatt. I haven't made it, but simming on the computer gives an optimal blow out rate of about 1/2 meters per kilometer, so over a range of meters or tens of meters it's pretty much as accurate as a normal laser. The only upper limit I can see on how much power you could put through this thing is when the materials start melting, which would probably be pretty high. There's really nothing fancy about it, it's just a shape. You could print it out easily on a 3d printer and fill it with some kind of settable glass for the total-internal-reflection. It would weigh about as much as a 2 litre bottle of water and be about the same size. I was concerned about it being weaponisable, but even at a kiloWatt the lethal range would probably be less than 100 meters, in which case you might as well just get a gun. I don't know if anyone's already done something like this, I can't find anything online, and people kept telling me it was supposed to be impossible. So, um, yeah...

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RickV462 months ago

I need something like this for my light show! Care to tell me more?

Yonatan247 months ago


A magnifying glass, perhaps?

DeannaB327 months ago

What if you use microwaves to slow down the light?

Kiteman DeannaB327 months ago

How does light slow down light??

You get two single photon light beams very close to each other.
And if you are lucky enough they become interested in each other and form a relationship.
Just not sure where to find a male and a female beam of similar age....

hi, first off I know absolutely nothing about this but perhaps I can try to have one made. I have recently discovered I need to columate my blue filtered diving lights in order to take pictures of sea life which is phosphorescent under certain wavelengths. Have you made one yet? I will ask around here to see if someone could make one if you send the parameters, if that's OK. Thanks

SolarFlower_org (author)  Johnny sea ranger10 months ago
I've not made one, will hopefully get around at some point to doing up a 3d model which could be printed or similar. No idea if it would actually work.
paolodime1 year ago

Hi SolarFlower, very interesting. I'm trying to create a light for video shooting, and I've been struggling for a long time on a problem that maybe you help me solve. I have a light source made of 4 powerful white COB (planar, lambertian) LEDs, that form a 80mm x 80mm light emitting source. What I want to do is to concentrate this source into a collimated beam, with the final purpose of using a floating Fresnel lens in order to adjust the angle of the final beam between, let's say, 10 and 60 degrees. This is very useful when you have to deal with studio lighting. Maybe you could help me? I'm spending time and money with little results... thanks! (and sorry for the poor English :))

zingo1562 years ago

I am extremely interested in your design, I have been working on a similar device. I have a very large concave mirror, it is about 1 meter in diameter, 1 square meter of light hitting earth = ~1000 watts. Exactly like a large magnifying glass if used with the sun will instantly ignite most items. If you could collimate the light from the focal point you could potentially make a laser. It could be used as a weapon: Imagine a giant concave mirror in space (if to heavy maybe a fresnel lens) if it could be collimated you would indeed have a true Archimedes death ray, of course I would prefer forwarding humanity instead. We could use this to beam energy to a specific point anywhere within line of sight. It could be very useful for heat/energy in remote parts of the planet or even for space exploration.

A laser is not a collimated beam of white light.

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