Researcher Fei Yu examines the colourful reflections from a bubble. The same effect makes his fibres guide light. Credit: University of Bath
To channel low power laser light to where it is needed we often use flexible glass threads, known as fibre optics. But it is more difficult to steer powerful laser beams, because they can cut through these solid glass fibres. This exhibit showcases our innovative solution to trap and channel these high-powered lasers using the most delicate glass bubbles.
We created hollow-core fibres made up of a ring of glass bubbles that are thinner than a strand of hair and more than 100m long. When a powerful laser is sent through the fibre, any light that hits the bubbles’ surface is reflected off, confining it in the hollow core. When you see light reflecting from the surface of a soap bubble, the different colours arise from different thicknesses of the soap film. Similarly, we can carefully control the wall thickness of the glass bubbles in our fibres to transport different colour lasers.
Find out more at go.bath.ac.uk/100m-bubbles or join the community at facebook.com/CPPM activities
Presented by: University of Bath and Heriot Watt University