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Saginaw Valley State University's physics department receives laser equipment donation

Nov 30, 2023

Specialized laser equipment is said to help expand the SVSU Physics program capabilities and enhance student experiences (Photo provided with permissions by Saginaw Valley State University)

KOCHVILLE TWP, MI-- Saginaw Valley State University has been awarded a donation of optical laser equipment by Gentec-EO, a worldwide supplier of instruments for the measurement of laser and terahertz equipment.

According to a release by the university, Chris Nakamura, associate professor of physics, applied for the award from the Quebec, Canada-based company through its Laser Lab Awards program.

SVSU said that its physics department does have a strong optics component so the new equipment will be a welcomed upgrade.

According to Nakamura, recent graduates from the SVSU physics program have gone on to work with similar optics equipment and lasers in industrial research and development or graduate study programs.

"A laser beam's profile, or shape, matters a lot for many applications, like laser cutting, laser trapping and laser surgery." said Nakamura "Early methods of measuring the beam profile were time-consuming and error prone. Having this device will let our students make measurements in a faster, easier and more accurate way."

The optical physics degree program gives students opportunities to study cutting-edge physics topics relevant to in-demand careers in optics, lasers and photonics.

The release said Gentec-EO's donation of a BEAMAGE-4M beam profiler will support SVSU students and staff with the best available optical technology like used in research labs and industrial R&D facilities.

Nakamura said the new beam profiler will complement other equipment in use by SVSU physics students.

"We have a number of Helium-Neon lasers and diode lasers, and the beam profiler is useful for understanding their beam profiles," said Nakamura. "Presently we have two students working on senior research aimed at building a couple of lasers, and so being able to measure the beam profile for new home-built lasers is certainly something we’re excited about."

The release said the beam profiler will be used in a wide range of physics courses and labs at SVSU, as well as to support student senior research projects.

For more information on the SVSU physics program, click here.

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