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The Illuminated Green Laser Light

by Lee Roby 11 months ago in Short Story
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The maser

The Illuminated Green Laser Light

OSI Systems had just seen their stock price plummet as one of their companies Rapiscan Systems which manufactures a controversial backscatter X-ray system for screening airport passengers. The company Rapiscan had to recall it's Rapiscan Secure 100 due to growing concerns of cancer related claims. Blood started boiling from the necks and worry drowned the tone of the situation as fear had gripped the very soul of Rapiscan employees. They were mired in a reality of painful truth. The truth that would be evident really soon as their jobs were in question and with a tsunami like effect might wipe out the company. It had also sown fear into OSI because we were the parent company who owned Rapiscan.

My name is Thomas Keyes and I'm a Solution Integration Engineer and business consultant at OSI. We had just received the harsh news of one of our companies Rapiscan, and as a board member we hadn't decided whether we should hold onto Rapiscan or sell the company.

First we had to find a new technology to replace the X-ray backscatter machine. Shareholders had seen the price of their stock fall. They were livid with anger. Concerned they should be. Countries no longer wanted the Rapiscan 100.

It was my job to present a new technology. I had read about Charles H. Townes who had invented the maser at Columbia University. He had received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954 for the invention of the maser. Maser stands for "microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."

I had traveled to Imperial College London to speak with Caroline Brodigan. Caroline had just seen the latest breakthrough and what it could mean in airport scanners. What had happened was 'the world's first continuous room temperature solid-state maser using a diamond. "The diamond-based device could lead to the development of ultra-sensitive microwave amplifiers that need no cryogenic cooling." This could help in airport security.

In 2012 Mark Oxborrow of the UK's National Physical Laboratory along with Jonathon Breeze and Neil Alford of Imperial College London devised a new maser scheme in which a green light laser pumps electrons from a lower energy level to a higher one.

When the maser was placed inside a ring of sapphire to concentrate microwave energy, and illuminated by a beam of green laser light, the maser worked at room temperature, continuously. This meant it didn't have to be cryogenically cooled.

"Carbon atoms were knocked out from the diamond using a high energy electron beam, creating spaces known as vacancies. The diamond was then heated, which allowed nitrogen atoms and carbon vacancies to pair up, forming a type of defect known as a nitrogen-vacancy defect centre." Imperial College London

This in turn requires that there should be more atoms in a high energy state than in a lower one. Such an unstable energy condition in matter is called an inverted population.

The key to the invention is the concept of "stimulated emission" which was introduced by Einstein already in 1917.

Townes came up with, "Stimulated emission means that a light packet, a photon, coming in contact with an atom can cause an electron to descend to a lower energy level so that an additional photon with the same amount of energy is emitted. If electrons are elevated to higher energy levels with the help of heat or light, an avalanche like effect occurs when they fall to lower levels."

I told the board that this was the next technology. It was the brain child of the concept of Einstein in 1917. It was his concept of stimulated emission. That would later come to the fruition and invent the maser.

The continuous room temperature maser was the breakthrough we had been looking for. The reason this was a breakthrough was because masers usually have to be cryogenically cooled. The other factor was that it was continuous. This was our answer to our problem. If we could get this new technology we could market it to every airport in the world.

With our maser like technology we could revolutionize airport body scanners, as well as detect bombs. We talked to the CEO of Rapiscan and asked them if they could come up with the concept of the maser.

They told us to fuck off since they just had recalled the Rapiscan 100 and it would be impossible to implement new technology that fast; to change their product to implement the maser would take reengineering designs, first a concept and later a product.

They were about to go bankrupt and with it our share of OSI would go down. So we decided to sell the company. We knew what would happen if they had filed bankruptcy. I told the board that this technology was what we needed. I dead panned for a while holding my breath at the response, but I knew I was right with this maser controlled technology at room temperature there would be no need for X-ray machines exposing millions of people to radiation. The claim that it did produce radiation is what raised deep concerns with countries and caused them to want something else. There needed to be something else.

I had gotten video of the experiment where the green laser light illuminated the maser. It had refracted and reflected off the diamond and green light was emanating from everywhere. The glow of the green light was like a cumulonimbus cloud. It was surreal. Everyone on the board had said I was right. This was the breakthrough we had needed. We were now angel investors and had sought out to own such technology. We had decided it was a good bet to gain ownership equity.

This maser like technology could cement the future of airport scanners as well as detect bombs which is essential to any airport around the world. It was Oxborrow, Breeze, and Alford who had taken the invention of Townes and with great precision used the maser continuously at room temperature and with an amazing concept had created a process by forming a type of defect known as nitrogen-vacancy defect centre.

This is the culmination of years spent in the classroom, devouring texts, creating experiments, and harnessing knowledge, expert knowledge used to the betterment of society. It is the produce of the farmer sowing his seed and finally bearing fruit. This produce is what we invest in as people learning and we owe our scientists a debt of gratitude. For without their hard work, their cause, their fortitude and their drive to continue to do the impossible and find ways to eradicate diseases, cure polio, and harness the energy of the sun we wouldn't be able to grow not just as a nation but as humans destined to do more on this earth.

Short Story

About the author

Lee Roby

I published Trigonometry Simplified on Amazon. I like to write fiction as well as non-fiction. This is all a learning process for me and as I progress through this maze called life hopefully my passion and writing becomes greater.

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