Professor Mark Csele's Homebuilt Lasers Page

Ideas For Laser Projects And Applications

Over the years I have been asked numerous times about the use of a particular laser for a science fair project. Being an alumni of the International Science and Engineering Fair myself this is a topic I'm more than happy to discuss. If you're interested in what _I_ did, might I first suggest a visit to my Science Page on my personal website which describes my old projects including the one that won first prize in the 1984 ISEF.

Considering the laser for a science fair project, you might be thinking the laser is indeed a solution without a problem ... a kind of cart-before-the-horse. The creators of the device also thought that, and it was over 20 years after it's invention that the true potential of the laser was realized. So, If you're thinking of using a laser for a science fair project (been there, done that) and need ideas, here's a few I've got. If anyone has other ideas, please share them and I'll update this page for the benefit of all ...

Remember, though, that simple construction of a particular laser is not good enough! Being a judge at the regional fair has given me insight as to what constitutes a 'scientific' project. While displays of Tesla coils and lasers are certainly popular exhibits (although many fairs have banned demonstration of these during fairs due to safety concerns), they do not always do well with the judges since often they lack scientific thought. Construction of a laser _could_ be considered an engineering project but one must demonstrate a unique approach towards the problem (e.g. unique tube design, calculation of some parameter and proof of it through experiment). Using a laser as a physics project would require investigation of some scientific phenomenon. And don't forget to state the PROBLEM, HYPOTHESIS, and CONCLUSION ... science fair judges ALWAYS look for that!

Ideas Which Involve Laser Construction

The following ideas involve constructing a laser itself

Ideas Which Use The Laser

The following ideas involve using a laser for the sake of it's coherent light. These are only ideas so I haven't done any real research into the concepts - they may or may not even be possible!