The C-2 Ring Laser
As a result of the Canterbury Earthquakes the Cashmere Cavern/ Cracroft Caverns Laboratory is currently closed.
The C-2 laser is a 1 m x 1 m square 'monolithic' laser, the cavity of which is bored out of a solid block of Zerodur (a glass-ceramic with very small thermal expansion coefficient). The laser sits on a block of solid granite which in turn sits on a concrete block embedded in the bedrock. The laser makes use of the 633 nm Helium-Neon laser system. It can be enclosed in an airtight tank which allows the air pressure on the structure to be regulated.
C-2 was essentially the prototype to test principles of construction for the later Gross Ring laser and still provides an invaluable test-bed for new ideas. It is located in the Cashmere Cavern Laboratory, where it was first installed in January 1997.
The $1.5M instrument was funded by Institut fuer Angewandte Geodaesie and Technische Universitaet Muenchen and built by Carl Zeiss Ltd, Oberkochen. The initial design was made by Prof. H. R. Bilger and Prof Ulli Schreiber.
The C-2 laser.
Looking into the C-2 laser cavity.
Prof Ulli Schreiber guiding the Zerodur block for C-2 into position during installation.