Even some large hospitals find laser surgery too expensive. So physicists
at the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in Israel
resort to nature. They collect and focus sunlight, and then transport
it in an optical fiber to a surgery theater where it can be brought
to bear on tissue (see figures).
In general, the advantage of using laser light for surgery is not its
coherence but high power density at adequate power levels. In this regard
the solar unit can match typical surgical lasers in terms of power (8
watts) and power density (10 watts/mm2).
Jeffrey Gordon (email@example.com, 972-8-659-6923) and his colleagues
report that tests on chicken breasts and chicken livers have been successful
and that the next step will be to perform surgery on live mice with
the solar optical fiber system.
The goal for the project is to deliver cheap sunlight for killing human
cancers with minimally invasive procedures. (Gordon
et al., Applied Physics Letters, 30 September 2002;