The Science Quiz: Let there be (coherent) light

August 01, 2023 11:00 am | Updated 11:00 am IST

The Science Quiz appears thrice a week in the daily Science page. The page is available to read on all days except Saturday in the epaper.

Q: On May 16 – celebrated as the International Day of Light – in 1963, an American engineer named ________ ______ is believed to have fired the world’s first laser. Fill in the blank.

A: Theodore Maiman

Q: Nearby rays of laser light can travel long distances without getting in each other’s way, i.e. they are highly parallel. Such light is said to be __________. Fill in the blank. Its Latin root word means “directed in a straight line”.

A: Collimated

Q: Every laser consists of a material whose atoms absorb some initial energy and then release it; the output is laser light. What is this material called?

A: Gain

Q: One application of lasers is to make hi-res maps: laser light is shone at a target and a detector measures the time it takes to return, thus creating an image of the target’s surface. What is this application called?


Q: The laser was historically preceded by the maser – a device that could be stimulated to emit radiation in which frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum?

A: Microwave

Q: This mockup shows a hohlraum, a chamber that contains a hydrogen isotope that is caused to fuse by high-power lasers. What is such fusion called?

A: Inertial confinement fusion

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