# Lake Balaton Laser experiment to determine the curvature of the Earth, if any.

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#### Mick West

Staff member
the laser beam was diffuse because of refraction so it was changing shape, but not diverging over distance. We had a very special collimator on the laser as you see, the starting point is NOT a pinpoint!

this is important and have been talked about before! our laser is more than an inch at the start. our beam diverge at 15 miles is 4 inches, without refraction.

So what is this then? It appears to be about 20-30x as large

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member.
That way we can conclude that the normal eyeheight of a camera (and the person holding it) is not more than 1.7 meters (eyeheight not total height of a person).
and he was in the rubber boat standing up. yes? ( i really need to see this video to visualize)

[edit add: Mick beat you too it]

This type of laser direct hit measurement into the optics
off topic:
i think you should put something on your video that tells kids not to look into lasers with a camera. or is that just a myth that some lasers can damage your eyes?

#### Mick West

Staff member
when the laser was perfectly leveled with slope correction.

"Slope correction" would be when you take the slope out of a set of data - i.e. you are correcting a curve for the errors introduced by a slope. Here you've (ostensibly) taken one point of a curve out of a slope. It's more of a "curve adjustment" - fixing an additional slope that was introduced by a curve at that point.

#### Sandor Szekely

##### Banned
Banned
and he was in the rubber boat standing up. yes? ( i really need to see this video to visualize)

this was the boat:

THIS IS A DIFFERENT MEASUREMENT HERE:
just to show the boat with a person standing in it:

off topic:
i think you should put something on your video that tells kids not to look into lasers with a camera. or is that just a myth that some lasers can damage your eyes?

yes that is a good idea to point out the hazards of the laser beam!

I asked about this our laserist before the pre-test and she said that over a longer distance (like mile) the laser (like this one) is not harmful to the eye and our eye reflex will protect us.
But the camera may be damaged at a longer distance too.

We did not have this problem on the pre-test or the first run, all cameras were unharmed. Actually we all were looking into the laser and had no problem at all, but actually I wanted to take sunglasses to protect our eyes.
I think all precautions shall be made not to harm anyone, or anything.

Interestingly animals were okay with our laser, and some birds were flying through it

#### Mick West

Staff member
Or this:

That's at 1.5km. So it would be four times are spread as that at 6 km. So you could easily be seeing flashes from something 8 feet above you.

#### Sandor Szekely

##### Banned
Banned
So what is this then? It appears to be about 20-30x as large

I would avoid to go now into the other experiment data and results - not to get mixed up. I know that you have an idea of what different measurements we made Mick, but others may get confused on the setup differences.

So my answer (just for you here ) is that :
on this late night measurement we had the laser beam at 50cms (1.6 feet) above the water and experienced a huge angle of bend in the beam at a certain distance as we discussed. Before reaching this exact point of high angle upwards bend, the laser was becoming larger and like the amoeba - also climbing a bit higher.
SO here it is the same thing with the refraction, but more extreme.

In the daytime experiment that we are discussing now we had not experienced such a point of high angle upward bend, I supposed due to the higher laser setup.
SO at daytime last measurement it did not become significantly larger at the distances.

#### snaphat

##### Member
That picture says it was taken at 5am in the morning...

#### Ray Von Geezer

##### Senior Member.
I would avoid to go now into the other experiment data and results - not to get mixed up. I know that you have an idea of what different measurements we made Mick, but others may get confused on the setup differences.

So my answer (just for you here ) is that :
on this late night measurement we had the laser beam at 50cms (1.6 feet) above the water and experienced a huge angle of bend in the beam at a certain distance as we discussed. Before reaching this exact point of high angle upwards bend, the laser was becoming larger and like the amoeba - also climbing a bit higher.
SO here it is the same thing with the refraction, but more extreme.

In the daytime experiment that we are discussing now we had not experienced such a point of high angle upward bend, I supposed due to the higher laser setup.
SO at daytime last measurement it did not become significantly larger at the distances.
As I said in my last post, I did think mixing the two experiments has caused confusion, especially because you've made very similar claims for both, so thanks for clearing up that there were two experiments, and in the night-time one the laser height was very close to the water. Just for clarity, are you saying that experiment can be disregarded for the time being?

The thing that still confuses me though is, it was the night time images you originally put forward as proof of being able to get a direct hit above the board (below), and the sequence of images you took from that experiment clearly showed the laser rising on the board. You're now saying you've got images that show a direct hit above the board in daylight but I can't see any real evidence of it?

The "arm raised" picture that you were previously presenting as proof shows the beam diverged by a considerable amount, enough to illuminate a mans arm, so by that distance it must have been several feet in diameter surely?
I would like to hear your opinion on these pictures:

the time is 5:05AM on the 16th

we can detect the laser beam on the hand held upwards (max 2 meter) and the laser beam direct hit into the camera

this is the side view at 5:00

at 5:04 :

and at 5:05AM

so the direct hit is clearly visible and measurable at this distance in the boat that proves there is no curvature - right?

plus we can see on the picture that the beam is bent upwards in front of the boat therefore the laser beam sudden rise is not due to curvature drop.

Mick pls calculate this GPS position distance to position A and the supposed curvature drop + laser height calculation to evaluate the results.

Also, on the daytime experiment, what was the purpose of the board? Surely having the beam levelled so close to the edge made it pretty much useless after a very short distance - as soon as the beam passed the top of the board you lost any chance of being able to take meaningful measurements.

Ray Von

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#### Clouds Givemethewillies

##### Senior Member
our laser is more than an inch at the start. our beam diverge at 15 miles is 4 inches, without refraction.
I don't think so.. more like 27mm. per kilometer at best.
https://www.rp-photonics.com/beam_divergence.html
Edit:
Sorry, the figure (for full width ) should be half the above figure because their calculator did not respond to changing to the YAG 2nd. harmonic.

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#### Ray Von Geezer

##### Senior Member.
I don't think so.. more like 27mm. per kilometer at best.
https://www.rp-photonics.com/beam_divergence.html
Edit:
Sorry, the figure (for full width ) should be half the above figure because their calculator did not respond to changing to the YAG 2nd. harmonic.
I'm not sure of the distance, but this doesn't appear to be that far out, and the laser is over six inches in diameter, so it's diverged considerably from the ~2.5in spot shown on the guy's palm.

Ray Von

#### Sandor Szekely

##### Banned
Banned
I'm not sure of the distance, but this doesn't appear to be that far out, and the laser is over six inches in diameter, so it's diverged considerably from the ~2.5in spot shown on the guy's palm.

Ray Von

this is the calibration distance of 717 meters. the refraction was changing the shape of the beam continuosly but not diverging significantly. you can see them better in the videos that we will include in the explanation

if it were the doubble size within 717 meter, and diverging with this rate then we couldn't have made measurements over 2 - 3 kms as the beam wouldn't be visible at all

#### Mick West

Staff member
if it were the doubble size within 717 meter, and diverging with this rate then we couldn't have made measurements over 2 - 3 kms as the beam wouldn't be visible at all

Sure it would, it would just be more spread out.

#### Rory

##### Senior Member.
Can someone explain please what "direct hit into the camera" means, and why that is relevant?

Is it being claimed that because the camera can see the laser, then the camera must be at the same height as the laser?

#### snaphat

##### Member
Can someone explain please what "direct hit into the camera" means, and why that is relevant?

Is it being claimed that because the camera can see the laser, then the camera must be at the same height as the laser?

That is my understanding as well. It's a claim that doesn't make sense. And it doesn't seem they did what mick asked them to do (collect many points to plot)... Keep in mind they were asked to do that under the assumption of much more favorable conditions than what they saw so any data collected is all the more suspect. Having seen these folks assert their conclusion even prior to the experiment I'm not surprised to see it being insisted here in spite of the actual results. It seems as if they intend to release a video asserting this is proof regardless.

#### Clouds Givemethewillies

##### Senior Member
this is the calibration distance of 717 meters. the refraction was changing the shape of the beam continuosly but not diverging significantly. you can see them better in the videos that we will include in the explanation

if it were the doubble size within 717 meter, and diverging with this rate then we couldn't have made measurements over 2 - 3 kms as the beam wouldn't be visible at all

You can't really compare the near-field and far-field diameters in transition. Apples and oranges. The bigger the near field, the smaller the far field can be. You can't do better than 'perfect'..

#### DarkStar

##### Active Member
this is the calibration distance of 717 meters. the refraction was changing the shape of the beam continuosly but not diverging significantly. you can see them better in the videos that we will include in the explanation

if it were the doubble size within 717 meter, and diverging with this rate then we couldn't have made measurements over 2 - 3 kms as the beam wouldn't be visible at all

How do you know it wasn't diverging significantly if your only measurement at larger distances was the ability to see the laser in the camera?

If you have the laser itself pointed slightly up the beam spread could easily make it appear that it's hitting the camera as the edges spread out.

Here is what I suspect is going on -- laser pointed slightly up, beam first hitting the board and then spreading out a bit so as you stick your camera up a bit you see 'glints' of the laser beam.

[GALLERY=media, 39]LakeBalatonLaserDiagram by DarkStar posted Aug 23, 2016 at 10:29 AM[/GALLERY]

How do we show this is NOT what is happening -- that's what we need next.

#### Mick West

Staff member
You can't really compare the near-field and far-field diameters in transition. Apples and oranges. The bigger the near field, the smaller the far field can be. You can't do better than 'perfect'..

Yet more complications! Fascinating stuff.
http://www.olympusmicro.com/primer/techniques/microscopylasers.html

Presented in Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of laser beam geometry and divergence in the near and far fields. As discussed above, the beam can be considered essentially a parallel bundle of wavefronts that undergoes little spreading in the near field. Beyond the near field, the beam divergence angle (θ), which is measured from the center of the beam to the edge (e(E-2)), grows larger and becomes the critical parameter in determining beam diameter (D) according to the equation:

Beam Diameter (D) = 2L • tan(θ)
where D is the variable signifying laser beam diameter and L represents the length of the distance from the laser exit aperture to the measurement point on the beam.
Content from External Source
(lots more variables at the link).

The issue could be avoided if there was simply a tall enough target, like a tall narrow board, where you could get a better (and verifiable) estimate of the center of the beam.

#### Hama Neggs

##### Senior Member.
I understand it clearly well, THANKS to Mick

So, in your understanding, is "slope correction" something done to physically level the laser, as I believe you implied?

#### Mick West

Staff member
Interesting in some photos the laser seems to converge (presumably with perspective), but then diverge much more abruptly after a point. Here I've rotated and then compressed the beam to make this more apparent. This is it hitting the boat:

And her continuing past the boat into the reflection zone:

Is this a function of the collimation? i.e. the beam is slightly converging, and so diverges more rapidly later?

#### Ray Von Geezer

##### Senior Member.
this is the calibration distance of 717 meters. the refraction was changing the shape of the beam continuosly but not diverging significantly. you can see them better in the videos that we will include in the explanation
What do you mean by "changing the shape of the beam continuously but not diverging significantly"? Using the scale you applied to that picture the beam is about 15cm in diameter. I could understand what you mean if it'd just got taller or wider, but it looks to have done both.

if it were the doubble size within 717 meter, and diverging with this rate then we couldn't have made measurements over 2 - 3 kms as the beam wouldn't be visible at all
Why not? Look at your "arm raised" night-time picture, the beam has expanded by a very large amount but it's still clearly visible - easier to locate if anything because you're looking down an expanding cone, not a beam of regular size.

Ray Von

##### Senior Member.
Is this photo a depiction of a laser "direct hit" into the camera?
Can someone explain please what "direct hit into the camera" means, and why that is relevant?

Is it being claimed that because the camera can see the laser, then the camera must be at the same height as the laser?

How did you demonstrate that it is indeed a "direct hit"?
Looking at this photo:
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/20160816_064208-leveling-1-png.20800/
the direct hit is to the board but the camera still sees a very bright laser spot on the shore. So just because you can see the laser in the camera does not imply "direct hit".

If the question about "direct hit" of the laser on the lens can't be answered, and the only measurements we have for the longer distances are taken from the camera's "direct hit", then the entire experiment is moot.

Its about as simple as that.

#### Ray Von Geezer

##### Senior Member.
The issue could be avoided if there was simply a tall enough target, like a tall narrow board, where you could get a better (and verifiable) estimate of the center of the beam.
It's a shame they didn't just turn the board around when they found the level mark was going to be so close to the top of the board.

Ray Von

#### Clouds Givemethewillies

##### Senior Member
Interesting in some photos the laser seems to converge (presumably with perspective), but then diverge much more abruptly after a point. Here I've rotated and then compressed the beam to make this more apparent. This is it hitting the boat:

And her continuing past the boat into the reflection zone:

Is this a function of the collimation? i.e. the beam is slightly converging, and so diverges more rapidly later?

Could just be the camera focused too close.

#### Mick West

Staff member
Some illustration of the issues:

And if that counts as a "direct hit", then the effective spread of the laser is at least 50% more

#### skephu

##### Senior Member.
Wouldn't a "direct hit" of the laser into the camera completely white out (or "green out") the entire image?

#### Rory

##### Senior Member.
So have we got any actual data from this yet? All I'm seeing is some pictures of boats and lasers.

I imagine at some point there'll be a video or report or something, and Sandor can start a new thread called, "Claim: Lake Balaton experiment proves earth is flat". But until then...

#### Mick West

Staff member
So have we got any actual data from this yet? All I'm seeing is some pictures of boats and lasers.

The closest we have to actual data is this post, which essentially amounts to the laser being approximately level, and then rising up an estimated amount.

Mick you have most of the materials I do so you know how we can evaluate this last measurement..

we will have something like this, that will define

1. 0km, 1.25m, tape measure from sea surface
2. 0.75km, 1.32m, photo with GPS on whiteboard with marking (and we make the other colored lines for calculation)
5. 1.86 km, 1.Xm, photo with GPS on whiteboard with marking
X. 5.6km, 1.5 to 1.7, estimated height of camera with "direct hit"
Y. 6km, 1.7m estimated height of camera with "direct hit"

We are proving the measurement points where the laser beam hit at max 1.7m was NOT possible on GE curved surface water model.
SO EASY MICK: we can exclude the possibility of seeing the laser from a certain distance just by placing them on your drop chart!
THIS IS WHY I AM ASKING FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF THE LASER LEVELING ACCURACY

1. laser level at 0kms

laser level at 0 kms

2. laser level at calibration 717 meters: (we will have all the pictures prepared with the coloured measuring lines for easy evaluation)

5. laser level at 5.8 kms (these are some of the Samsung pictures with GPS stamp, others have are coded but not stamped)

the map is not complete here we have some of the Samsung pictures

#### snaphat

##### Member
So have we got any actual data from this yet? All I'm seeing is some pictures of boats and lasers.

I imagine at some point there'll be a video or report or something, and Sandor can start a new thread called, "Claim: Lake Balaton experiment proves earth is flat". But until then...

Based off of what Ian has said on fb it seems like they only have about 10 to 20 points of data along the path of the laser and that they probably don't have humidity data so not enough to actually compensate for anything since the laser curved and they'd need a lot of data points along the curve as well as that data

#### Bernard Mc Donnell

##### Member
Just a quick question, @Sandor Szekely seemed to be implying earlier that @Mick West had essentially almost all the same data as he himself has. Sandor also says that he has literally gigabytes of video and photos as well as data. All I've seen, unless I've missed something, are a couple dozen photos and some rough measurements (and some estimates).

So my question is this, has Sandor submitted more than just these few dozen or so photos? And if he has not, how does he actually expect this test to be evaluated in a peer review manner? It's simply not enough for him to share a small number of photos and then expect people to wait for what could very potentially be an extremely biased, and possibly heavily edited, video.

#### Mick West

Staff member
Just a quick question, @Sandor Szekely seemed to be implying earlier that @Mick West had essentially almost all the same data as he himself has. Sandor also says that he has literally gigabytes of video and photos as well as data. All I've seen, unless I've missed something, are a couple dozen photos and some rough measurements (and some estimates).

So my question is this, has Sandor submitted more than just these few dozen or so photos? And if he has not, how does he actually expect this test to be evaluated in a peer review manner? It's simply not enough for him to share a small number of photos and then expect people to wait for what could very potentially be an extremely biased, and possibly heavily edited, video.

I have 32GB of data from Sandor. However this does not include any identifiable measurements beyond the 0.75km "leveling". I don't think I have anything that can indicate what a "direct hit" is.

There are sequences of 22MB raw photos, like:

And similar videos.

I do not have video or many photos from the boat for the final series of measurements. It is possible that this was in the first set Sandor tried to send me, but which failed to download.

#### Bernard Mc Donnell

##### Member
I have 32GB of data from Sandor. However this does not include any identifiable measurements beyond the 0.75km "leveling". I don't think I have anything that can indicate what a "direct hit" is.

There are sequences of 22MB raw photos, like:

And similar videos.

I do not have video or many photos from the boat for the final series of measurements. It is possible that this was in the first set Sandor tried to send me, but which failed to download.
32GB? Am I mistaken in remembering he said that you have essentially as much of the data as he does? I include photos and videos as data and not just written measurements. I'd have to check back to find his exact quote. Thanks for the speedy reply @Mick West.

#### Z.W. Wolf

##### Senior Member.
How do you know it wasn't diverging significantly if your only measurement at larger distances was the ability to see the laser in the camera?

If you have the laser itself pointed slightly up the beam spread could easily make it appear that it's hitting the camera as the edges spread out.

Here is what I suspect is going on -- laser pointed slightly up, beam first hitting the board and then spreading out a bit so as you stick your camera up a bit you see 'glints' of the laser beam.

[GALLERY=media, 39]LakeBalatonLaserDiagram by DarkStar posted Aug 23, 2016 at 10:29 AM[/GALLERY]

How do we show this is NOT what is happening -- that's what we need next.

Yes, well said. I think that's exactly what's happening. The target is much too small. Any "direct hit" on the camera lens could, as well, just be a lower corner of a large irregular beam.

Sandor, I warned you months ago, long before you started this thread, about distortion from atmospheric refraction. It's not just the inferior mirage effect. There is turbulence as well. Warmer air is rising from the water surface and cold air is falling in to replace it. This is a turbulent process and light gets refracted in random directions. A partial cure is to do something I also suggested months ago: Put your laser on a ladder at least 3 meters above the water surface. Four meters would be better.

You also have to face facts. Even in a vacuum your laser beam would not be a line. It's a cone. I think there's more beam divergence than you were counting on.

I was the first to suggest that you follow the beam across the lake with a boat; but that was only so you could trace its path and you wouldn't lose it. Just by coincidence that rather silly Hawking show was broadcast. And you seem to be fixated on it. I think the next step is to put up a LARGE target on shore and test to see how large the beam actually is at, say, six miles. Have a fixed target and another sheet of white paper on a long stick that you can move around the perimeter of the main target to make sure you have measured the entire perimeter of the beam.

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#### Rory

##### Senior Member.
The closest we have to actual data is this post, which essentially amounts to the laser being approximately level, and then rising up an estimated amount.
Ok, so to me that looks like:

1. A laser shining at a white board, labeled as being at the same place
2. A more diverged laser shining at a white board, labeled as being 717 metres away, and adjusted so it shines at the same place on the white board as the first laser
3. An empty white board, presumably empty because the laser is shining somewhat higher than the top of the board (as would be expected at 5.8km)

That can't really be it? After all that effort?

##### Senior Member.
For reference, here is someone else playing around with a 5mW green laser, at night. The video claims they are 1.5 km away.

and another..

#### DarkStar

##### Active Member
For reference, here is someone else playing around with a green laser, at night. The video claims they are 1.5 km away.

Random thing - Those 'rings' you see are due to constructive & destructive interference since the light isn't perfectly coherent.

##### Senior Member.
For reference, here is someone else playing around with a 5mW green laser, at night. The video claims they are 1.5 km away.

and another..

If I can see the beam's origin before and after the pinnacle of the brightness (or how "direct" the laser is hitting the lens), isn't that an identification of an important margin of error for such an important calculation? (Unless there are more definitive measurements for those distances) Its just more obvious with video, and at night for better contrast (and their elevation, less refraction)?

#### Sandor Szekely

##### Banned
Banned
Could just be the camera focused too close.

YES, good eyes

the camera focus is causing this phenomenon

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