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Laboratory star

If you look closely, a crystal embedded in the optical equipment of a physics laboratory may surprise you. When a laser beam is aimed at the titanium and sapphire crystal, it forms a luminous star that spreads out into a countless number of green dots. This almost celestial landscape offers a pleasant break from research involving pulse lasers for high-precision applications — such as metal engraving — without causing corrosion, or for use in cornea surgery by ophthalmologists.

Image submitted by physicist Vinícius Pereira Pinto, a master’s student at the São Carlos Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo (IFSC-USP)