Goldfinger’s laser – update

Just one comment so far that correctly identifies the bad physics in my post about Goldfinger’s laser.  If anyone else wants to leave a comment I will give you until the end of the Easter holidays to watch the clip and post your ideas.

I won’t publish any of your comments until then.

Goldfinger’s laser

Lasers are celebrating their 50th birthday this year.  The first laser was demonstrated in 1960 by Theodore Maiman and his research group at Hughes† in California.  Here is a good background article on the first laser, its inventor and the role that Einstein played in developing the theory of stimulated emission.

The principle of laser operation is outlined in this description of Maiman’s laser, which used a rod of polished ruby inside a spiral flashtube.

My favourite James Bond film, Goldfinger, has a scene where Sean Connery (the best 007 imho) is strapped to a table under a huge red laser.  It should have been a saw but the invention of the laser, just 4 years earlier, was a gift for the writers.  This scene helped the film win the best effects Oscar in 1965 and, more importantly, gave us the ultimate Bond quote:

Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.

Everyone should watch the laser scene.

Bonus points if you can tell me about the bad physics in that clip.

†I used to work for Hughes before I trained as a physics teacher – the Glenrothes branch, not Malibu Beach, California.

bad particle physics

The Large Hadron Collider never seems to be out of the news for long, so it makes sense for someone to provide something for non-physicists to help them understand some of the language of particle physics.

Well done to Reuters, who published a short article called Factbox: Glossary of particle physics terms last week.  Unfortunately, it’s not entirely correct. Follow the link above and use your knowledge of particle physics from unit 2 of the AH Physics course to correct the errors.  It’s always possible that Reuters might pull the article due to the errors so I have attached a pdf of the page below, no excuses!

Thanks to Zapperz for his original post about the article.