Blu-ray Laser Bursts 100 Black Balloons
Got an old Blu-ray player from which you can cannibalize the laser unit? Scott Stevenson did, and use used it produce this video. Blu-ray players use a 405 nm (more violet than blue - see thumbnail) laser diode that emits a 580 nm beam at around 5 mW. I'm guessing black balloons are used because they absorb more of the light energy and therefore heat faster. A debate on the YouTube page argues between melting or air heating causing the balloon to burst. My money is on local melting since it would take a long time to heat the air inside enough to expand enough to cause the popping.
Posted May 2013