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Simulated Laser Emission Demonstration Model for physics is a straightforward demonstration of a tube with foam ends and BBs to simulate photons. Shake the tube and the BBs bounce off the reflective ends, just like photons in a real laser.

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Lasers have become commonplace in recent years and yet the understanding of how they work is often elusive. Show your students the basic principles behind a helium-neon laser using this simple model. Straightforward demonstration consists of a tube with “reflective” foam ends and BBs to simulate the photons. Shake the tube back and forth and the BBs bounce off the reflective ends, just like photons in a real laser. One of the reflective ends has a small opening that allows only one or two BBs to exit at one time, simulating the inefficiency of a laser. The BBs exit the tube traveling in only one direction, showing why laser light is coherent. This simple, easy-to-perform demonstration will help reveal the hidden, inner workings of a laser. Detailed instructions, background information, and student worksheet are provided. All the materials are completely reusable-a great value!

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy

Crosscutting Concepts

Systems and system models

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.