Terrill A. Cool and Ronald R. Stephens of Cornell University believe they have produced the first continuous wave all‐chemical laser. In a paper he delivered 26 Nov. at the American Physical Society fluid dynamics division meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, Cool told how they mixed commercially available bottled gases to get 1.06×104 nanometer emission from carbon dioxide without any external energy source to initiate or sustain lasing action. Maximal power output was 8 watts; lasing continues until the reactants are depleted (up to several hours). The laser operates at about 4% efficiency; Cool predicts 15% efficiency with proper design modifications. A typical electrically excited CO2 laser has an overall efficiency of about 8%.

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