The new Light Aligner from Spectrolight is a simple to use tool that solves the ubiquitous challenge of aligning a light beam through an optical system constructed on a breadboard or optical table. The Light Aligner is an anodized metal ruler with precision engraved fiducials and a series of 2.5 mm diameter through holes. It utilizes a magnetic base that holds the ruler in a vertical orientation and enables its stable, temporary placement on any optical table, breadboard or ferrous metal surface. In use, the optical beam is passed through one of the holes at the appropriate height, and then the entire unit is moved as necessary to various positions in the optical system to verify that the beam alignment is being maintained.
The Light Aligner is available either with or without registration pins on its base. This allows for either complete freedom in its placement, or precise registration of a beam with the mounting hole pattern on the table or breadboard. The Light Aligner also uses a modular approach to provide maximum utility; a bolt-on extension doubles the height with no loss of precision. Both metric and imperial (inch) versions are available with standard lengths being 220 mm and 8.6 inches.
The challenge of aligning a light beam is common to nearly every optical and photonic application, particularly in research settings and so-called “breadboard prototyping” of new instruments and systems. Traditionally, engineers typically have resorted to surprisingly low-tech, improvised solutions using paper and even business cards to visualize and align the light beam. The new Light Aligner is a handy tool that finally provides an easy to use, precision alternative