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Advanced lasers, now without the vibrations

Physicists’ new address at the University of Copenhagen has a thick, hard, cement floor. Good for lasers that can 'split hairs'

A move to the hard cellar of the Niels Bohr Institute has been good for the advanced laser equipment of the Ultra Cold Atoms and Quantum Optics section.

They can now function without being effected by vibrations from neighbours, and even floor movement from the weather, according to lecturer Jan Westenkær Thomsen of Niels Bohr.

»When it rains outside like today,« Jan Westenkær Thomsen said to the University Post last Thursday, »the floor moves a little, and all the optics are affected. It hardly needs to be more than that,« he explained.

See the laser pics

The institute recently moved its laboratories from the H. C. Ørsted Institute to the cellar at the Institute’s Blegdamsvej 17 address.

The advanced laser equipment can measure things with an accuracy that defies human imagination. As Jan Westenkær Thomsen puts it: »A bit like knowing what the diameter of the Earth is to the precision of the breadth of a hair.«

See the fascinating photo series here

miy@adm.ku.dk

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