Measure the width of your hair with a laser pointer

Play with lasers and learn about diffraction

By Bethany Brookshire, 12:42 PM July 24, 2014

You can measure the width of a single hair. All you need is a dark room, a laser pointer, some cardboard, tape and a little bit of math. And, of course, someone’s hair.

Using a useful video with instructions from the Frostbite Theatre YouTube series at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Va., I decided to see if I could measure the hairs of some of the writers here at the Science News office. I took samples from willing volunteers. Then I measured how they scattered the l...

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