Why Safety with Lasers?

Anything about the secure handling of Lasers, dangers, legal regulations and norms.
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ekkard
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Why Safety with Lasers?

Beitrag von ekkard » So 08 Jan, 2006 9:46 pm

Laser radiation is hazardous because of the following physical properties:
  • sharp wavelength(s)
  • long coherence length
  • high collimation
  • extremely small source (point source)
These properties enable all sort of collimating lenses or mirrors as well as the human eye to concentrate the radiation on an extremely small place (a "point") in the focal plane or the retina respectively.
Furthermore the human eye has some properties to detect and amplify visible radiation beginning with the near UV (ca. 350 nm) and ending in the region of 1400 nm (IR). Therefore a respectably high part of the initial energy gets absorbed.
Well let me say, that a visible laser beam of around 1 mW falling into the pupil will work roughly like the sun. And you shall not look at the sun longer as some seconds - same with a laser of 1 mW. Hence a collimated laser beam of 5 mW can already lead to a longer or forever lasting retina damage.
To learn more about the safety with laser radiation you should read the IEC60825-1. There is a wonderful annex describing the effects of laser radiation on the human eye or skin. That standard describes also the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) suitable for laser safety calculation.
Best regards
Ekkard

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