Given that most of my research is focused on renewable energy, I love to pick up relevant pictures to include in my presentations. This solar facility outside Denver, CO, was far larger than an initial glance at the image might imply. The tiny yellow dots at the base of the cylinders in the center of the image are enormous pieces of earthmoving equipment.
The laboratories of physical scientists across the planet have pulsed laser systems like this one, and many look quite similar: a collection of squat boxes covering optics, electronics, and beampaths. Above or below the surface of the table are additional boxes of electronics driving the lasers and detectors. This particular system is special to me for two reasons: (1) most modern laser tables don’t have rad wood grain paneling, and (2) this was the instrument I used during my sabbatical at Berkeley Lab last spring. Lots of good data emerged from its photomultiplier tube.