The phrase ‘straight as an arrow’ is an old saying which conveys the thought of straightness, but as anyone that’s attempted to use a bow will know, an arrow’s flight is anything but straight!
Straight as a laser beam should really take over as a saying as it offers more relevance. At OMS, we work with pipes which at first glance might appear straight, but upon inspection, clearly are not. In order to help our clients, we built a tool to enable them to check the straightness of their pipes using a laser beam.
Those familiar with laser beam technology, for example, in use as a pointer or in at laser show, know that a laser does something which in past times might have been considered magic. It more or less convinces light to travel in a tight beam over long distances. Light always goes in a straight line unless deflected or diffracted, so the trick with a laser is not whether light goes straight, but convincing enough photons to go in same direction in a tight beam. I could go on at length about how this is achieved in a chip the size of a grain of sand, but thought it better to explain how we take such a laser and use it to measure the straightness of something like a pipe.