• resonant cavity with piezoelectric (PZT) input or output? - photon~wave
  • Polarization Beam Combiner (PBC) - photon~wave
  • OFR isolator to reduce optical feedback - photon~wave
  • Polarization Maintaining (PM) Fiber - photon~wave
  • my guess: Four Beam Holographic Interferometry - photon~wave

What’s That? (94)

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Puzzle Series: What is this, or what do you want it to be?

The most specific answer within the next 24 hours wins the newest Jawbone Icon (with voice interface, in black “The Thinker” or pearl white “The Catch”).

hawkexpress, @superamit, !efatima, and 51 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. steelhive 62 months ago | reply

    Oooh! Somebody's trying to actually produce a Schrodinger's Cat state in a Bose-Einstein condensate! Coherent clue, Steve.

  2. xgunner1 62 months ago | reply

    It is an optical 3D genetic macromolecular visualization system. You can watch molecules fold in real-time in-situ.

  3. photon~wave 62 months ago | reply

    The opto-circuitry in the upper part relies on polarization and uses polarization-maintaining optical fibers. They are commonly used in interferometry, but I guess that the sketch corresponds to a device for quantum (cryptography) key distribution...

  4. Steffe 62 months ago | reply

    Looks like you are trying to find the shortest path between to points.

  5. P^2 - Paul 62 months ago | reply

    I've done a few crazy optical bench projects myself, but this one is insane.

    It looks like a laser atomic cooling apparatus with a tetrahedral trap using intersecting circularly-polarized beams (bottom right). Judging by the top right, it's Rubidium that's being cooled. Since there's no helium or magnetic field around it doesn't look like a spin-polarization experiment, so I'm guessing it's to do with precise frequency (or, conversely, time) measurement, though that's not clear (where is the microwave probe beam? is it purely optical at a few GHz?).

    The many kilobucks worth of isolators ("optical diodes") make sure lasers don't see light coming in the "out" door, so stay stable. The even more kilobucks worth of translation stages adjust and align the components to direct the beams, some with active feedback through piezo-electric PZT actuators. The modulation in the MHz range is probably for lock-in amplifiers to "surf" a (rubidium?) resonance peak and lock on to it to either measure its intensity or to tune the probe laser to that frequency.

    I'd love to see the actual setup.

  6. P^2 - Paul 62 months ago | reply

    But what I want it to be is a nuclear resonance stimulator that permits efficient tabletop aneutronic fusion.

  7. Jim Rees 62 months ago | reply

    A Google search on the number in the upper left corner, 152539, turns up some interesting results. A torrent file for a Bob Marley mp3, a recipe for sweetcorn fritters, siRNA, shRNA and Lentiviral Particle Gene Silencers, an ad for a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, Wait-free consensus in 'in-phase' multiprocessor systems, a fault current circuit breaker, real estate in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and more. These could all be clues.

  8. conformation_change 62 months ago | reply

    I am going to guess that this is an atom laser beam to image things that your average electron microscope would destroy. I remember reading about how they harnessed Bose-Einstein condensates. However, I want it to be the set up for a quantum computer controlling a Project Orion-Type large scale rocket. Is there life on Mars?

  9. jurvetson 62 months ago | reply

    First, Jim Rees needs credit for the funniest contribution! These could all be clues

    Second, shame on me for posting a puzzle with prizes for something I barely underdstand. It someone had nailed it as a laser source design for an atom interferometry experiment to test the equivalence principle of Einstein’s theory of general relativity to 300x the current limit, well then it would be easy.

    But noooo… No I have to figure out who is closest. And part of the problem is that the entire experiment does not fit on one whiteboard! This is for one of two wildly complex light tables, and then there is the 30 ft. tall atom fountain that it feeds… =)

    I will try, but am open to challenges from any of you who think it wasn’t P^2 or that my lay attempt to summarize does injustice to the physics.

    Yes, it is a laser atomic cooling system to trap and release atoms for precise measurements of the difference (if any) in the acceleration due to gravity of Rb85 vs Rb87, two stable isotopes of Rubidium. The trap laser has to be very precisely tuned in the infrared band to a doppler-red-shift from the resonant frequency, so that any vibration toward the source is offset by a photon, thus arresting their motion, and cooling the atoms to about 100 microkelvin. To get all the way to 150nK (150 billionth of degree above absolute zero), they then switch off the Doppler cooling lasers and do evaporative cooling, typically in a pure magnetic trap.

    From the bottom of the vertical tube, the atoms shoot up and then are pulled back by gravity in a race, like the hammer and feather on the moon.

    Their position is only resolved by observation on their return. At apogee, they are in a cloud spread over 10 centimeters of superposition.

    They hope to detect differences in gravity to 15 or maybe 16 decimal places. If they see a difference, it could suggest a fifth fundamental force (beyond electromagnetism, gravity, strong and weak forces) that operates over long distances (meters to Earths).

    This Poster has photos and a good summary of the project. The wires are actually small pipes with 200psi water cooling running through the center to remove resistive heat losses.

    Interestingly, this work started in Steven Chu’s group (now head of the DOE) using a smaller apparatus and Cesium atoms which got to 10^-10 resolution of g (Metrologia).

    Here is the Chu setup, a fraction of the height of the current project:

    When Jason Hogan saw a 30 ft. tall vertical tunnel in the Varian Physics building, he knew it would be perfect for an atomic fountain 10x as tall.

    And I’ll post some photos of the light table setup… and yes with several "kilobucks of mirrors" (although they did find that cutting the expensive round mirrors into four pie slices cut mirror costs 3x given the cheap cost of grad student labor… =)

    Special mention to JeffHayward, who first mentioned that it would be used to create a Bose-Einstein condensate (the cloud of Rubidium atoms).

    TombaMarina first identified an interferometer in the infrared that could measure something (acceleration due to gravity in this case).

    Oops gotta go celebrate my birthday… photos will have to wait to tomorrow. =)

  10. photon~wave 62 months ago | reply

    Congratulations Paul (P^2)! I also think you gave the most specific answer.

  11. The Rocketeer 62 months ago | reply

    It's encouraging to know that so many smart people are users of Flickr. What a treat this puzzle was... reading all the answers. It was fun and educational.

  12. P^2 - Paul 62 months ago | reply

    Heh. Cool :-) And Happy Birthday!

    But wow. *That* is a physics experiment, and a fascinating paper.

  13. photon~wave 62 months ago | reply

    BTW, the team led by Holger Müller of the University of California, Berkeley, has measured the time-shifting effects of gravity 10,000 times more accurately than ever before! See Nature of February 18, 2010.

  14. UNCLE_(T) 62 months ago | reply

    I think it is the genetic code of the neighbors Calico cat !!

  15. .flightblog 62 months ago | reply

    It's one super slick desktop.

  16. avlxyz 62 months ago | reply

    ... and here i was trying to find Wally / Waldo.

  17. cgullz 62 months ago | reply

    awesome, love it. my kinda board. seen in explore :)

  18. greentea flute 61 months ago | reply

    I thought this was a series of semi-related diagrams made while discussing the various dynamics of rocket engine electronics, but am more interested in the time-shifting effects of gravity, which get really interesting at the sub-sub-atomic level, as only Stephen Hawking would know for sure ......

  19. MysteryStevenson1 58 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Anti Gravity, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  20. Sir Kappa 2 months ago | reply

    Steve, I've used this for my website (commercial - but not selling the picture) - www.chennai.gre.augustacademy.in. Hope that is ok. Thanks.

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