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Helium Neon Gas Laser


This is a glass tube supported by two adjustable metal bases, which allow the user to change the height or angle of the tube. There are two smaller tubes attached to the larger one, one perpendicular to it and one extending out of it; the latter tube bends at 90 degrees after approx 6.5 cm. Two wires extend from the apparatus, one from the larger tube and the other from the perpendicular one. Inside the larger tube is a small piece of metal (the anode), connected to one of the wires, and an aluminum tube. The large tube is connected to the bases by two adjustable stainless steel clips.

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Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Iron, Glass, Stainless Steel, Rubber, Aluminum, Copper Alloy


On one of the rubber sleeves connecting two wires reads “VW” and “ALPHA”.

Dimensions (cm):

Each base is approx. 8.5 cm wide, 11 cm deep, and 1.9 cm high. The total width of the base is 19 cm. Each of the 2 base units is 12 cm high. The glass part is 32.5 cm wide and varies from 1 cm to 3.7 cm. The two glass arms are each approx. 1 cm in diameter, except at the ends of the arm which is parallel to the large tube: there the diameter broadens to approx. 2.5 cm.


This is part of a larger laser apparatus. It appears to be the first unit, into which the gas is pumped prior to ionization. The laser light is produced in the inner aluminum tube and passes into the glass elbow joint, and thereafter into the rest of the apparatus.


Apart from minor corrosion on the iron base of the object, the instrument is in excellent condition.

Associated Instruments:


Date of Manufacture:


This artefact was gathered, along with several others, from the staff at the Physics Learning & Research Services of the Department of Physics in August of 2017.

Additional Information and References:

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