Do Lasers Work Underwater?

Lasers are pretty extraordinary when you think about everything that they can do. People use lasers every single day even when they aren’t thinking about it. These lasers are used inside of important technological devices and the modern world simply wouldn’t be able to work without them. Even something as simple as using a disc drive to play a movie or a video game relies completely on lasers to work.

The capabilities of lasers are actually pretty astounding but many people aren’t sure of everything that they can do. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about lasers, then you should read on. Today the topic of conversation is whether or not lasers can work underwater. People who don’t understand exactly how lasers work might be curious about whether things will work the same way when they’re submerged in water.

Simply read on to learn the answer to this question. You’ll also be able to discover some of the common reasons why people might want to use lasers underwater. It’s an interesting topic and the answer isn’t actually that hard to understand. You’ll have a much better understanding of this topic once all is said and done.

Do Lasers Work Underwater?

The simple answer to this question is that yes, lasers do work underwater. You’re going to be able to use a laser underwater just fine so long as the components that are making the laser work aren’t exposed to the water. If it’s encased in a normal shell that is waterproof, then the laser is going to be capable of producing a beam just the same as it normally would. There are some different properties to consider due to being underwater, though.

When you’re using a laser underwater, there are going to be certain differences to keep in mind. You might be aware of the scientific fact that very little sunlight reaches into the depths of the ocean. Light penetration in water works differently and it winds up getting scattered when it goes too deep. Certain laser wavelengths are going to work better underwater than others.

Blue-Green Spectrum Lasers Work Best

The lasers that are on the blue-green portion of the spectrum perform the best underwater. They can penetrate further and will enjoy a higher wavelength when measured in nanometers. This means that the peak transmission of a blue-green laser underwater will be a little more than 500nm by current estimates. Water can absorb some red and ultraviolet light so going over to that side of the spectrum will show noticeably diminished results.

Do lasers work underwater? Yes, they absolutely do. There are just other factors to consider when you’re trying to understand how they work and what you need to know. Some of this might not be as easy to understand if you don’t know the basics of wavelengths but you can just walk away from this knowing that lasers will work in an underwater environment.

Why Might You Want to Use Lasers Underwater?

Now you might want to know why people would need to use lasers underwater. There are actually many potential applications for laser technology underwater. One of the most obvious is that it could be used to help submarines. Lasers could theoretically be important for helping submarines to locate other vessels and it could even be used to try to differentiate between friendly vessels and enemies.

submarine laser

Lasers could also be used for communication purposes underwater. If humanity ever decides to build structures underwater, then this could be a very important part of being able to communicate effectively with the surface. Lasers are an important part of technology and they will continue to be important for many years to come. It should come as no surprise that certain technological achievements underwater would be making use of lasers.

There are also laser pointers that are designed to be used underwater. This is probably one of the most common types of underwater lasers that you’ll come across. Scuba divers need to be able to see underwater and laser pointers can help them to identify objects or to communicate with other divers. For instance, using an underwater laser pointer to draw someone’s attention to something that he or she is exploring is a good idea.

Scuba divers

These underwater laser pointers aren’t used as a source of light. They’re just used to point out objects and they could potentially be useful in other ways as well. It’s an important part of a scuba diver’s gear that most people wouldn’t want to be without. Knowing this, you can see that underwater lasers have many modern applications.

In Conclusion

Now that you’ve had the chance to go over underwater lasers and how they work, it should be a lot easier to see why they’re so important. Average people may not know about underwater lasers but they are important nonetheless. Lasers work underwater and they do have modern applications that are being used today. In the future, it’s possible that underwater lasers will be even more important than they are now.

  • Updated October 16, 2019
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