This project was a demonstration, or rather a series of demonstrations, that I gave in several classes in schools around the Greater Vancouver area. The purpose of the presentation was 'demystifying lasers:' to give students a better understanding of how a laser really behaves, as opposed to how they are often presented in science fiction, and show that they are not as strange and uncommon as one might believe. (Although one might think students would already have a fairly accurate idea about lasers, and know that they not too rare in everyday life, this didn't tend to be the case in the students I presented to.) Depending on the age and level of the audience, I also explained the basics of the theory behind how a laser works.
In this paper, I first discuss the theory I was trying to get across, in slightly more detail than I might present to students. Then I describe how I would explain these concepts in a classroom situation. I mention some other interesting demonstrations I did at various times, as well as some of the questions I was often asked after the presentation. I also give a brief note of the safety concerns one must be aware of when working with lasers.