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Question
Hello Mr.Johnson,

My question is,what the best object a laser can detect(metal,plastic,neon etc.).,and does the distant of the object make a major difference in laser detection.


Thank you for your time



Sincerly,


A Ten

Answer
Hello ALEXANDER,

Please open
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIDAR
Notice that it says that LIDAR "can be used with a wide range of targets, including non-metallic objects, rocks, rain, chemical compounds, aerosols, clouds and even single molecules".

When conditions are good between the object and the LIDAR unit, detection over very long distances is possible. Reflectors on the moon can be targeted to determine the distance to the moon with millimeter precision. But poor conditions such as smog, rain, etc. can inhibit detection of objects much closer to the LIDAR.

I hope this helps,
Steve

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Steve Johnson

Expertise

I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.

Experience

I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

Education/Credentials
BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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