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Laser Optics Lab
Introductory laser experiment project kit containing optics and low-cost optical bench

The Laser Optics Lab contains more than 30 optical components and accessories for demonstrating the principles of optics in basic courses of physics and physical science. When used in conjunction with any HeNe laser*, the lab enables instructors to provide students an exciting and easily grasped learning experience in lasers and optics.

Sampling of Experiments:

  • Investigate reflection, refraction and critical angle.
  • Measure wavelengths of light using the techniques of Young, Michelson and Lloyd.
  • Construct optical levers to detect and measure minuscule movements that are almost imperceptible to the human eye.
  • Test a lens for defects, collimate light and evaluate a person's visual perception skills.
  • Capture light in an arcing water jet or an optical fiber and investigate fiber optics phenomena.
  • View a hologram, observe interference rings and measure diffraction patterns with a ruler.
  • Determine the index of refraction of a liquid or transparent solid by measuring bending in the intense laser beam as it enters or leaves the material.
  • Study characteristics of light: wavelength, interference, diffraction and polarization.

One key aspect of this lab is its simple optical bench system that consists of metal components and carriers that magnetically attach to a steel optical table. Experiment set-up is easy, intuitive. The lab's cost also is exceptionally low when compared to that of many conventional optical rails and benches.

  Laser Optics Lab

Part Number: 45-600 
Price: $165.77
Instruction Manual

* Diode lasers or pointers are not recommended for this lab because they will produce marginal results in diffractive experiments that require a very narrow optical spectrum.

Replacement Parts are available.

Suggested lasers to use with this product:

CT Series Diode Lab Laser Class II Laser ML 810 He-Ne Class II Laser

Included is a 68-page, fully-illustrated instruction guide that contains 34 optical, light and laser experiments. All experiments were developed by teachers and thoroughly tested in classrooms. Each experiment contains detailed instructions and illustrations to guide students to successful completion of each demonstration or activity. Experiments demonstrate the refractive, diffractive and other wave properties of light using the unique and visually dramatic characteristics of an HeNe laser. In addition to guiding the student through exercises in light and optics, the booklet also explains the theory of laser operation, aspects of laser construction and laser safety.

Laser Optics Lab includes three lenses, four mirrors, coated beam splitter, equilateral prism, optical beam spreader, air wedge, transmission hologram, diffraction mosaic, diffraction grating, fiber optic light guide, pair of glass interference plates, polarizing and color filters. The optics bench system comes with its own full-color instruction and experiment guide.


All manufacturers of lasers used in the United States, must conform to regulations administered by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDRH categorizes lasers as follows:

 Class 1

A laser or laser system which does not present a hazard to skin or eyes for any wavelength or exposure time. Exposure varies with wavelength. For ultraviolet, .2 to .4m exposure is less than from .8 or near IR, the exposure is < 200w. Consult CDRH regulations for specific information.

 Class 2

Any visible laser with an output less than 1 mW of power. Warning label requirements yellow caution label stating maximum output of 1 mW. Generally used as classroom lab lasers, supermarket scanners and laser pointers.

 Class 3a

Any visible laser with an output over 1 mW of power with a maximum output of 5 mW of power. Warning label requirements red danger label stating maximum output of 5 mW. Also used as classroom lab lasers, in holography, laser pointers, leveling instruments, measuring devices and alignment equipment.

 Class 3b

Any laser with an output over 5 mW of power with a maximum output of 500 mW of power and all invisible lasers with an output up to 400 mW. Warning label requirements red danger label stating maximum output. These lasers also require a key switch for operation and a 3.5-second delay when the laser is turned on. Used in many of the same applications as the Class IIIa when more power is required.

 Class 4

Any laser with an output over 500 mW of power. Warning label requirements red danger label stating maximum output. These lasers are primarily used in industrial applications such as tooling, machining, cutting and welding. Most medical laser applications also require these high-powered lasers.