week 5

Recall the problem of unfocused images when trying to observe the behavior of the worms when sent through two different wavelengths of light, side by side. The regular digital camera was producing such a tiny image that good data was hard to retrieve from the videos. We solved the problem by purchasing a second CCD camera! Now we are able to take two images (focusing the cameras on the two different colors respectively).

What’s next: We are looking into purchasing a UV laser in earnest. Comparing the price, whether it plugs in, the power, the beam divergence, and the wavelength to find the best option for us. We need it to plug in, for the divergence to be small, and for the wavelength to be mid- 300 nm, possibly adjustable.

In our search for the appropriate UV laser, we have found several inappropriate ones, and one especially scary one. A company called Wicked Lasers is selling handheld lasers that achieve up to 2 Watts of power, one of which has an attachment that makes it into a lightsaber. Although it does come with a disclaimer (“this is not a toy”), it is definitely a little scary that such a powerful laser can be bought for just a few hundred dollars, especially one that (even though it is described as NOT a toy) looks an awful lot like a toy.