Optical Components & Mounts

Optical Components & Mounts

We will keep our optical components to the bare-bones minimum; one small spherical mirror. The mounts for the optical components are steel plates that measure 1" x 5" x 1/16 inch thick. The plates can be assembled in a variety of useful configurations using small bar magnets. I advise buying a minimum of 4 plates and magnets. The most basic configuration looks like an upside-down T. Putting the plates together is simple, see figure 5* . The unit is more stable than it might appear.
* When using a metal table as described in this article you can eliminate the bottom steel plate of the up-side down "T" and use a magnet directly on the table top.

Securing The Optical Components

Figure 5

Figure 5

The mirror lens is a spherical front-surface mirror attached to a bar magnet using epoxy glue, see figure 6. Be careful not to get any glue or fingerprints on the front surface of the mirror.


Figure 6

Figure 6

With the component mounted lke so, it easily attaches to the side of the inverted T, and is adjustable through a full range of motion, see figure 7. This makes aligning and directing the laser light easy.

Figure 7

Figure 7

The spherical mirror, see figure 6, spreads the laser beam rapidly, allowing you to illuminate the entire photographic platewith laser light. Note: once the laser beam from a 1.5 milliwatt laser is spread to a diameter of 8 inches it is completely eye safe.

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