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Optics & Photonics Talk

Laser rod donation to a goodf home
Author Last Post

In the case that they are disposed of, since they are doped with Uranium, would they be considered hazardous waste?

They're probably no more dangerous than gas lantern mantles, and Uranium based glazes were once used on ceramics, some of which no doubt came in contact with food, but this might be a consideration.

On the other hand, have you tried contacting any universities? Would this be something I could help with?
I have some laser rods rescued from getting dumped at Hughes some years ago. They are uranium doped calcium fluoride grown by Hargreaves at Optovac. I would hate to see them dumped again when I go. It would be great if someone would want them either as artifacts or to use them. would be most happy to pass them along. If not, I would be happy for any other suggestions.

I used these rods almost 50 years ago. I used silver coated mirrors on rods with a coupling hole, just like Maiman did. IIRC they emitted at about 2.5µm. I used liquid nitrogen gas cooling. With end pumping now possible with LEDs or lasers, there might actually be a way of using them with relatively low thermal stress. These were described by Sorokin and Stevenson.

Please let me know if these are of any use to anyone or whether disposing of them is the best thing to do.

William Buchman
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Updated: 20 October 2019
Added 13  November OSSC Meeting