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copy 8 August, 2006

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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Everyone loves a laser. Scientists are even debating whether lasers can, in fact, facilitate time travel. Laser, actually, stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. What does this mean to you? Well, my friend, you could be the proud owner of a piece of very clever technology!

Based on this diagram courtesy of HowStuffWorks the laser printer is proven to be an innovative use of the laser. The paper enters from the tray and is pulled along a path until it contacts the drum. As the drum spins, the laser “writes” the text or the picture on the drum, which has a positive charge. The points where the laser contacts the drum pick up a negative charge and the positively charged toner clings to them. The paper below is strongly positively charged, making the now negatively-charged toner powder cling to it and then the paper is discharged and sent to the fuser where the toner is heat-bonded to the paper, giving it that nice warm feeling and those raised letters.

After a page is printed the drum itself is discharged and then re-charged to begin its work again. It’s all a bit more complicated than that and for more info you can go here and read about it in more detail. Wasn’t that an exciting journey through science?

Inkjets are easy to figure out. Ink. Jet. See? Laser printers, as you have seen, are just amazing (relatively) little bundles of science. Oh there’s so much more science involved, but the heart of it all is the venerable laser. Think about laser guns, laser light shows, laser quest, and all of the things you loved as a child. They’re all wrapped up in Hewlett-Packard. Wouldn’t you want that on your desk?

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