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Spark Modulator for Light Beams

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000045900D
Original Publication Date: 1983-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Imaino, W: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

An optical modulator is described which utilizes an acoustic shock pulse generated by a spark gap in a stationary or flowing fluid to produce deflection of a light beam.

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Spark Modulator for Light Beams

An optical modulator is described which utilizes an acoustic shock pulse generated by a spark gap in a stationary or flowing fluid to produce deflection of a light beam.

An example of such a modulator comprises a spark gap 10 fixed in position about 2 mm from the focus of light beam 12 which may be from a laser 14, for example. A high voltage pulse generator 16 is connected so that a high voltage pulse is produced at desired times across spark gap 10. The resultant spark in spark gap 10 generates an acoustic shock wave which has a wavefront with a sharp change in refractive index. As this wavefront crosses the light beam, it causes a transient deflection of the continuous light beam. By suitably positioning a knife edge 18 to intercept the undeflected beam, the beam can be selectively transmitted past the knife edge 18 to a utilization device.

The same principle can be used to produce a beam shaper comprising four spark sources surrounding the beam symmetrically. The spark sources provide a quadrupole refractive index gradient for transient beam shaping effects.

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