Building A Laser

How do lasers work? How are they used today?

In what ways does this topic inspire me?

I have always liked to build my own things, and by doing this project I have a reason and the motivation to make something that has had an impact on many different technologies. Lasers, portrayed by popular culture to be weapons, has also become a big part of communication, the medical field, and space exploration. Who wouldn't want to build something like that?

Does this topic address something I want to learn about?

I want to become an engineer, and learning about something that has had such a big impact on technology (and is still impacting it) is interesting to me. Lasers will be the key components to many present day "science fiction" ideas, such as traveling the speed of light.

How is it going to make a difference in the world? How will it inspire others?

So often people have an idea that they would like to carry out, but fail to do so due to a growing number of excuses. If I am able to make my own laser, it may motivate those with their own cool ideas to pursue them. All it takes is a few resources, a little bit of research, and a positive attitude to make whatever you want.

Is my essential question too narrow or too wide?

My essential isn't too narrow or too wide. As long as I keep my research focused and don't drift off to topics that my essential question doesn't cover, I should be okay.

What resources will I use? Are they realistic? Available?

I will mainly use the internet, which has many good articles on lasers that I could use. I would also like to try to interview a laser engineer.