The Effect of Laser Properties on Electric Potential

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which laser properties would produce the largest electric potential when shined on a solar panel. These factors could then be applied to create a laser powered battery. To achieve this, a four factor DOE was conducted. The independent variables were wavelength in nanometers (nm) (450, 532, 635), distance from a solar panel in centimeters (cm) (25, 50, 75), beam width in number of lenses (0, 1, 2 ), and motion (none, side to side, circular). The dependent variable in this experiment was the electric potential transferred from the laser to a solar pane, measured in volts (v). The data was collected by connecting a multi-meter to a solar panel, and shining a laser at the solar panel while under a certain combination of factors listed above. The average value displayed by the multi-meter was then recorded for each trial.

It was hypothesized that the lowest (-) wavelength (blue, 450nm), furthest (+) distance (75 cm), widest (+) beam width (two lenses), and least (-) motion (none), would produce the largest outcome of electric potential transferred through a solar panel from a laser. This hypothesis was accepted after conducting five separate DOEs, each with 21 trials, including 5 standards. A four factor DOE was used for the statistical analysis of the data for it allows one to compare the effect of each factor separately and the interaction of each factor with the other factors of the experiment. The data from each combination of factors of each DOE was then averaged. The combination producing the highest average electric potential was the (- (wavelength), + (distance), + (beam width), - (motion)) trial, as hypothesized, with an average electric potential of 15.506 v. It was also found that wavelength had the greatest effect on the electric potential.

Research Conducted By:

Isabel Fiori
Cousino High School

Meredith Hinz
Cousino High School