# Audio/RF amplification using lasers? (crazy idea time)

J

#### Jon Noring

Jan 1, 1970
0
A crazy and, more likely than not, stupid idea (and which no doubt has
crossed the minds of others) hit me as I thought about amplifying weak
audio and RF/audio signals. The usual technologies for amplification
include tubes and transistors. Why cannot lasers be used for electronic
signal amplification? (Maybe they have, but I have not yet found any
discussion/information on such devices...) Let me explain what I mean:

In triode tubes, for example, when a weak input signal is applied to
the control grid, it regulates the higher-power current flow from the
plate to anode. Amplification of the signal is achieved.

If we now visualize the laser analog to the triode, where we replace
the current flow from plate to anode with a high-power continuous
laser beam directed at a spot photocell, and replace the control grid
by something else which modulates or deflects the laser beam based on
the weak input signal, then in essence we can (at least as I see it)
potentially achieve a very high gain of the input signal, and, if
properly and cleverly designed, may also achieve quite linear, low
distortion, low-noise response. It may open up new possibilities for
high-end audio components (amps, phono-amps, radio tuners, etc.) and
for various scientific applications where space/weight is not a
critical factor.

For example, in the simplest "mechanical" analog of this system,
imagine a higher-power laser beam directed at a photocell via a small
reflecting mirror. By applying to the mirror the weak input signal so
as to somehow deflect it a tiny bit, we can effect quite large
deviations of the reflected laser beam directed at the photocell
target. The photocell would then output a much higher powered signal
modulated by the weak input signal.

There may also be "non-mechanical" ways to modulate/deflect the laser
beam, but I do not have any concrete ideas regarding those.

So, is there a fundamental problem with this idea? (Of course, there's
lots of real world issues, such as vibration and inertia issues for
mechanical type of modulation, and various inherent sources of noise.)
Has anyone done research and development in this area, possibly even
marketing a product which accomplishes pretty much as described above?

As my graduate advisor once told me: "A person can think of a thousand
reasons why something won't work, but all you have to do is think of
ONE way to make it work."

I look forward your thoughts and, of course, criticisms on this nutty
idea.

Jon Noring

C

#### Charles Jean

Jan 1, 1970
0
A crazy and, more likely than not, stupid idea (and which no doubt has
crossed the minds of others) hit me as I thought about amplifying weak
audio and RF/audio signals. The usual technologies for amplification
include tubes and transistors. Why cannot lasers be used for electronic
signal amplification? (Maybe they have, but I have not yet found any
discussion/information on such devices...) Let me explain what I mean:

In triode tubes, for example, when a weak input signal is applied to
the control grid, it regulates the higher-power current flow from the
plate to anode. Amplification of the signal is achieved.

If we now visualize the laser analog to the triode, where we replace
the current flow from plate to anode with a high-power continuous
laser beam directed at a spot photocell, and replace the control grid
by something else which modulates or deflects the laser beam based on
the weak input signal, then in essence we can (at least as I see it)
potentially achieve a very high gain of the input signal, and, if
properly and cleverly designed, may also achieve quite linear, low
distortion, low-noise response. It may open up new possibilities for
high-end audio components (amps, phono-amps, radio tuners, etc.) and
for various scientific applications where space/weight is not a
critical factor.

For example, in the simplest "mechanical" analog of this system,
imagine a higher-power laser beam directed at a photocell via a small
reflecting mirror. By applying to the mirror the weak input signal so
as to somehow deflect it a tiny bit, we can effect quite large
deviations of the reflected laser beam directed at the photocell
target. The photocell would then output a much higher powered signal
modulated by the weak input signal.

There may also be "non-mechanical" ways to modulate/deflect the laser
beam, but I do not have any concrete ideas regarding those.

So, is there a fundamental problem with this idea? (Of course, there's
lots of real world issues, such as vibration and inertia issues for
mechanical type of modulation, and various inherent sources of noise.)
Has anyone done research and development in this area, possibly even
marketing a product which accomplishes pretty much as described above?

As my graduate advisor once told me: "A person can think of a thousand
reasons why something won't work, but all you have to do is think of
ONE way to make it work."

I look forward your thoughts and, of course, criticisms on this nutty
idea.

Jon Noring

Hi

How about the laser beam shining through what amounts to one segment
of an LCD, and modulate that? Is it possible to turn a segment
"partially" on? I guess what I'm really talking about here is an
electronically variable light filter. Doesn't Bill Gates have
something like this on his house windows?
(Another thought: a rotating polarized filter might produce a very
clean sine wave in the audio range.)
Charlie

If God hadn't intended us to eat animals,
He wouldn't have made them out of MEAT! - John Cleese

D

#### DarkMatter

Jan 1, 1970
0
How about the laser beam shining through what amounts to one segment
of an LCD, and modulate that?

The "Optical Transistor" is the only ting eluding us from building
an optical computer. A mere 4-bit version of which would toast
anything you ever laid your hands on by an order of magnitude.

M

#### Mathew Orman

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jon Noring said:
A crazy and, more likely than not, stupid idea (and which no doubt has
crossed the minds of others) hit me as I thought about amplifying weak
audio and RF/audio signals. The usual technologies for amplification
include tubes and transistors. Why cannot lasers be used for electronic
signal amplification? (Maybe they have, but I have not yet found any
discussion/information on such devices...) Let me explain what I mean:

In triode tubes, for example, when a weak input signal is applied to
the control grid, it regulates the higher-power current flow from the
plate to anode. Amplification of the signal is achieved.

If we now visualize the laser analog to the triode, where we replace
the current flow from plate to anode with a high-power continuous
laser beam directed at a spot photocell, and replace the control grid
by something else which modulates or deflects the laser beam based on
the weak input signal, then in essence we can (at least as I see it)
potentially achieve a very high gain of the input signal, and, if
properly and cleverly designed, may also achieve quite linear, low
distortion, low-noise response. It may open up new possibilities for
high-end audio components (amps, phono-amps, radio tuners, etc.) and
for various scientific applications where space/weight is not a
critical factor.

For example, in the simplest "mechanical" analog of this system,
imagine a higher-power laser beam directed at a photocell via a small
reflecting mirror. By applying to the mirror the weak input signal so
as to somehow deflect it a tiny bit, we can effect quite large
deviations of the reflected laser beam directed at the photocell
target. The photocell would then output a much higher powered signal
modulated by the weak input signal.

There may also be "non-mechanical" ways to modulate/deflect the laser
beam, but I do not have any concrete ideas regarding those.

So, is there a fundamental problem with this idea? (Of course, there's
lots of real world issues, such as vibration and inertia issues for
mechanical type of modulation, and various inherent sources of noise.)
Has anyone done research and development in this area, possibly even
marketing a product which accomplishes pretty much as described above?

As my graduate advisor once told me: "A person can think of a thousand
reasons why something won't work, but all you have to do is think of
ONE way to make it work."

I look forward your thoughts and, of course, criticisms on this nutty
idea.

Jon Noring

Lasers are oscillators and when used as an amplifiers there ware found to be
very unstable.
So instead the Erbium Doped fiber amplifiers are in use now for amplifying
light.
Search for more data using keywords +"optical amplifiers"+"laser"

Sincerely,

Mathew Orman
www.ultra-faster-than-light.com

M

#### Mike Poulton

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lasers are oscillators and when used as an amplifiers there ware found
to be very unstable.
So instead the Erbium Doped fiber amplifiers are in use now for
amplifying light.
Search for more data using keywords +"optical amplifiers"+"laser"

Huh? Lasers can be oscillators or amplifiers. LASER means "light
AMPLIFICATION by stimulated emission of radiation" -- whether configured as
an amplifier or an oscillator, it's still a laser. An EDFA is a type of
laser which happens to be a very good amplifier. Some other types of
lasers don't make good amplifiers, usually because the gain is too low
(argon ion, for instance). "Stability", whatever that means, is
irrelevant. Non-oscillating "gain blocks" are common in high power pulsed
laser systems, like NOVA and the National Ignition Facility. A Q-switched
seed laser is used to feed many stages of Nd:YAG or Nd:glass slabs that act
as laser amplifiers, with high enough gain to be completely depleted in one
pulse. This allows the production of narrow pulses (Q-switched pulse
widths) at power levels that would annihilate any Q-switch. Very handy.

--
Mike Poulton
MTP Technologies

Live free or die! http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org/

Unless the government has a really excellent reason, anyone should be
allowed to possess, own, purchase, store, use, publish, say, or do
anything that does not cause demonstrable harm to another person without
that person's consent. "To fight terrorism" in the vague sense is not
even close to sufficient reason.

S

#### Sam Goldwasser

Jan 1, 1970
0
I think the original question was more along the lines of why lasers aren't
used in place of more conventional amplifiers at audio and RF frequencies.
Aside from noise and stability issues, the simple answer is that there are
very good simple electronic means of amplifying electronic signals up through
microwave frequencies. It's hard to beat 40 dB of gain from a 10 cent
transistor circuit.

+Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
| Mirror Site Info: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

Important: The email address in this message header may no longer work. To
contact me, please use the Feedback Form at repairfaq.org. Thanks.

S

#### Subhajit Sen

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sam Goldwasser said:
I think the original question was more along the lines of why lasers aren't
used in place of more conventional amplifiers at audio and RF frequencies.
Aside from noise and stability issues, the simple answer is that there are
very good simple electronic means of amplifying electronic signals up through
microwave frequencies. It's hard to beat 40 dB of gain from a 10 cent
transistor circuit.

There will always be applications in which the fundamental
noise mechanisms (kT/R for thermal noise and IkT for shot noise)
of electronic systems will be obstacles to amplification and
detection(detection of gravity waves for example). Trying
out lasers or other optical means may be a
smart idea but I have no clue as to how they would work.

Regards,
Subhajit Sen

J

#### Jon Noring

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sam said:
I think the original question was more along the lines of why lasers aren't
used in place of more conventional amplifiers at audio and RF frequencies.

Yes. This is not for optical amplification, but simply to use the unique
properties (coherence, collimation, etc.) of laser light as noted. It's
akin to using a laser for land surveying, burning off unwanted hair, etc.
-- just another application of lasers using its unique properties.

Aside from noise and stability issues, the simple answer is that there are
very good simple electronic means of amplifying electronic signals up through
microwave frequencies. It's hard to beat 40 dB of gain from a 10 cent
transistor circuit.

Well, of course. But if 10 cent transistors were adequate for
everything, then everything would be built with 10 cent transistors.
Last I looked, tube-based amplifiers have been making a steady
comeback in the audiophile community.

I simply wish to explore this idea, whether proven silly or not, since
the *potentially* very high gain, high linearity, and low distortion,
are very intriguing, especially for the audiophile community (and
maybe for certain scientific applications). Of course, like anything,
when one moves an idea from concept to implementation, things like
"reality" rears its ugly head. <laugh/>

I think the questions to ask of this idea is *how* one could build at
least an audio signal amplifier using a lasers as I previously
described (I focused on mechanical means, such as a movable mirror to
deflect the beam, but other types of beam attenuation are also
possible), and what the potential gain, linearity, distortion and
noise would be. Be creative -- don't let current reality get in the
way. It might turn out that with the right set of clever solutions,
one may find a use regime (albeit specialized) where the electronic
equivalents of transistors and tubes are not competitive.

Jon Noring

C

#### Chuck Simmons

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jon said:
Yes. This is not for optical amplification, but simply to use the unique
properties (coherence, collimation, etc.) of laser light as noted. It's
akin to using a laser for land surveying, burning off unwanted hair, etc.
-- just another application of lasers using its unique properties.

Well, of course. But if 10 cent transistors were adequate for
everything, then everything would be built with 10 cent transistors.
Last I looked, tube-based amplifiers have been making a steady
comeback in the audiophile community.

But not in low noise high linearity systems. In many systems, low noise
or otherwise, $0.10 would be highway robbery for a transistor. In applications I worry about, transistors are free I simply wish to explore this idea, whether proven silly or not, since the *potentially* very high gain, high linearity, and low distortion, are very intriguing, especially for the audiophile community (and maybe for certain scientific applications). Of course, like anything, when one moves an idea from concept to implementation, things like "reality" rears its ugly head. <laugh/> For audiophiles, don't worry about signal quality metrics. If you can sell snake oil, you can sell audio. I think the questions to ask of this idea is *how* one could build at least an audio signal amplifier using a lasers as I previously described (I focused on mechanical means, such as a movable mirror to deflect the beam, but other types of beam attenuation are also possible), and what the potential gain, linearity, distortion and noise would be. Be creative -- don't let current reality get in the way. It might turn out that with the right set of clever solutions, one may find a use regime (albeit specialized) where the electronic equivalents of transistors and tubes are not competitive. If you wish to amplify electronic signals, you have the problem that the input impedance of the amplifier dominates system noise. Generally, you can expect all noise in this type of system to be sensor intrinsic noise or input noise. How does a laser get around these? In a sense, there are "laser amplifiers" of the type you mean in use. For example, CD and DVD focus and tracking methods use a laser and photodiode sensors to obtain electical signals proportional to error from desired focus and position. The measurement noise is dominated by the shot noise in the photodiodes. That is, the electronic amplifiers following the detectors need not be especially low noise in the focus and tracking paths. The sensor equivalent noise of a$0.10 operational
amplifier might be just a couple of nanometers while the sensor noise
might be 10X that.

Chuck

J

#### Jan Panteltje

Jan 1, 1970
0
Yes. This is not for optical amplification, but simply to use the unique
properties (coherence, collimation, etc.) of laser light as noted. It's
akin to using a laser for land surveying, burning off unwanted hair, etc.
-- just another application of lasers using its unique properties.

Well, of course. But if 10 cent transistors were adequate for
everything, then everything would be built with 10 cent transistors.
Last I looked, tube-based amplifiers have been making a steady
comeback in the audiophile community.

I simply wish to explore this idea, whether proven silly or not, since
the *potentially* very high gain, high linearity, and low distortion,
are very intriguing, especially for the audiophile community (and
maybe for certain scientific applications). Of course, like anything,
when one moves an idea from concept to implementation, things like
"reality" rears its ugly head. <laugh/>
Yes laugh, since I designed (in the long ago past) both tube amps
(for a band for example) and transistor amps (in the more recent past),
I can tell you that the one that suggested to you the tube amps were:
'more linear, more robust, more (whatever good)', was at least lying.
I have never, even for 2 milli seconds, longed back for the 807 push pull
zero bias stage after I build my first SEPP transistor output.
And that was in 1968
Since then transistors have improved a lot.
The choice of tubes has decreased a lot.

And, as mentioned by Sam, a 10 cent transistor is a good
solution as it requires low overhead (power supply, whatever you are
going to need for the laser).
In fact at light frequencies, of cause you could FM modulate a YAG
(or whatever it was called) laser, mm maybe mechanically ;-) and then
use frequency doubling, that would double the deviation, then somehow
detect it.
Audio is at lower frequencies then light, maybe mix it up a bit?
Really are you trying to create an other nonsense-market (after tube amps)?
Use the laser for what the laser is good at, and the transistor for what it
is good at.
JP

S

#### Sam Goldwasser

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jan Panteltje said:
In fact at light frequencies, of cause you could FM modulate a YAG
(or whatever it was called) laser, mm maybe mechanically ;-) and then
use frequency doubling, that would double the deviation, then somehow
detect it.

In fact, this is the sort of research I'm involved in. But it's to FM
modulate a laser at microwave and higher frequencies for use in fiberoptic
networks, lidar/radar, and medical imaging. With these, the unique properties
of lasers are essential.
Audio is at lower frequencies then light, maybe mix it up a bit?
Really are you trying to create an other nonsense-market (after tube amps)?
Use the laser for what the laser is good at, and the transistor for what it
is good at.

Yep.

+Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
| Mirror Site Info: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

Important: The email address in this message header may no longer work. To
contact me, please use the Feedback Form at repairfaq.org. Thanks.

M

#### Mark Johnson

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi, people.

Although not really related to the topic at hand, this thread brought
to mind the new technology called Hypersonic Sound, which I first read
about around a month or so ago in one of my engineering magazines
(either Electronic Design News or Design News).

It's kind of like "laser" sound waves. If you haven't yet read about
it, I think regulars to alt.lasers will enjoy the short read at the

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/bown/article/0,16106,388134,00.html

http://www.acoustics.org/press/133rd/2pea.html

I'm wondering how this could be used for laser shows!!!

S

#### Skywise

Jan 1, 1970
0
[email protected] (Mark Johnson) wrote in
Hi, people.

Although not really related to the topic at hand, this thread brought
to mind the new technology called Hypersonic Sound, which I first read
about around a month or so ago in one of my engineering magazines
(either Electronic Design News or Design News).

It's kind of like "laser" sound waves. If you haven't yet read about
it, I think regulars to alt.lasers will enjoy the short read at the

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/bown/article/0,16106,388134,00.html

http://www.acoustics.org/press/133rd/2pea.html

I'm wondering how this could be used for laser shows!!!

DAMNIT!!!! I am too slow...I had this idea YEARS ago....oh well....
glad to see it developed anyway...it would allow the use I
originally had it in mind for....although I think I'll wait for
the price to drop a bit first.

I originally thought of using ultrasonic transducors at different
frequencies to set up a 'beat' frequency when the ultrasonic waves
struck an object, specifically a car. That way I could tell that
driver very specifically what I thought of their driving without
it being broadcast to everyone else at the same time. The target
driver would not be able to tell where is was coming from since
the sound would be emenating from their own vehicle.

Brian

M

#### Mark Johnson

Jan 1, 1970
0
Skywise said:
DAMNIT!!!! I am too slow...I had this idea YEARS ago....

Don't you just HATE it when that happens?!?!
I originally thought of using ultrasonic transducors at different
frequencies to set up a 'beat' frequency when the ultrasonic waves
struck an object, specifically a car. That way I could tell that
driver very specifically what I thought of their driving without
it being broadcast to everyone else at the same time. The target
driver would not be able to tell where is was coming from since
the sound would be emenating from their own vehicle.

Brian

That's an absolute FANTASTIC use for this...why didn't I think of it?
Especially after (just this morning!) being one of around 15 other
vehicles stuck behind a woman driving an SUV kinda slow in the fast
lane. People were going around her in the middle lane, and when I
passed her, she was yacking on her cell phone. I honked my horn, and
she just honked back. I recognized her from another day, doing the
same thing, even to talking on the cell phone. Yep, I honked then
too.

I would LOVE to be able to tell her what I think (I wonder if the
person she's talking to on the cell phone would hear?), instead
of...errrr...the other way I let her know how I feel. I know, that's
bad, but I drive 30 miles each way, with around 10 miles in
construction (last 2 years!!!), and it's so incredibly rude to
intentionally interfere and hassle with other people who simply want
to get where they're going.

I swear, I think that even the world's rotation slows down when I'm
stuck behind one of these morons.

It sounds like YOU have this problem too, eh??

S

#### Skywise

Jan 1, 1970
0
[email protected] (Mark Johnson) wrote in
I swear, I think that even the world's rotation slows down when I'm
stuck behind one of these morons.

It sounds like YOU have this problem too, eh??

I have had this problem ever since I started driving. I
live in the LA suburbs....I used to get pretty ticked in
driving at times. But I've forced myself into some new
tactics and it's lowered my blood pressure quite a bit.

What I do depends on if I'm in my car or on my bike. On
the bike I pretty much do whatever I want on the road
simply to keep myself as far away from any other vehicles
as possible. Safety first, laws second. Once I realized
a few tricks my 'close encounters' have dwindled
dramatically. I have quite a rule list (which I ought
to write down someday) but probably number one is "always
go faster than those around you." Does wonders, and I've
even had motor officers agree with me.

In the car I'm much more subdued. A lot of times if
someone cuts me off I just go around them...maybe change
lanes right back in front of them, and I'm over it. Or
sometimes I'll see someone being a not-so-good driver
and I'll toy around with them a bit; like speeding up
and slowing down at appropriate times so they can't
slalom their way through traffic like they are so
obviously and desperately trying to do.

Fortunately I'm one of those individuals that becomes one
with the vehicle I'm operating so my reflexes are pretty
damned quick. I've startled myself a few times at how I
just simply went around something and then thought later
"how did I know to do that?"

And in case anyone is wondering, I have only ever had two
tickets in 16 years of driving and 3 accidents, none of
which was my fault.

If you've read this far, sorry this was so off topic.
It was just a chance to gripe a little. I really could

Brian

C

#### Cory B

Jan 1, 1970
0
Tom Potter said:
Wow!

In fifty years of driving
and scores of tickets.(Almost all in speed traps.)

I might point out,
that when I see a driver in a big hurry,
I move over and let him do his thing,
as I assume that he has an emergency,
like going to the toilet, rushing home to see his sick child,
is late for a meeting, etc.

And if a guy cuts me off, or plays games,
I shrug my shoulder and assume that the guy is
having a rough day.

There have been a few times when I got really pissed off,
and if I had had a gun, I would have shot the driver.

Once I was driving a Triumph TR3 on a narrow New Jersey
two lane road, with heavy traffic in both directions,
moving at about fifty MPH, and the guy in a big truck behind me
stayed two or three feet behind me for a few miles, and I had
no place to pull over, speed up or do anything to avoid the
situation he put me in.

As I had no gun, when I finally did get a chance to pull over,
and let him tailgate the next car,
I just held up my middle finger indicating his I.Q.

Of course, to him, it was all very funny.

It would have been worth a few years in jail
a double gauge shotgun at him.

Might I suggest using a 60mW DPSS green pointer from spacecoast
electronics to flash blind the idiot instead of shooting him? It's
not legal, but it's not looked down on quite as bad as shooting the
idiot. Not to mention you don't have to shoot one of your windows
out... Just a thought....

S

#### Skywise

Jan 1, 1970
0
188019.news.uni-berlin.de:
Once I was driving a Triumph TR3 on a narrow New Jersey
two lane road, with heavy traffic in both directions,
moving at about fifty MPH, and the guy in a big truck behind me
stayed two or three feet behind me for a few miles, and I had
no place to pull over, speed up or do anything to avoid the
situation he put me in.
<Snipola>

Sheeet!!! If someone ever does that to me when I'm on my bike
I'll be getting their license plate and charging them with

For the other posters, I've thought of various laser devices
to use but ruled them all out as there was no way to
guarantee that innocent bystanders would not be placed in
harms way.

Brian

G

#### Glenn Gundlach

Jan 1, 1970
0
Skywise said:
[email protected] (Mark Johnson) wrote in

I have had this problem ever since I started driving. I
live in the LA suburbs....I used to get pretty ticked in
driving at times. But I've forced myself into some new
tactics and it's lowered my blood pressure quite a bit.

What I do depends on if I'm in my car or on my bike. On
the bike I pretty much do whatever I want on the road
simply to keep myself as far away from any other vehicles
as possible. Safety first, laws second. Once I realized
a few tricks my 'close encounters' have dwindled
dramatically. I have quite a rule list (which I ought
to write down someday) but probably number one is "always
go faster than those around you." Does wonders, and I've
even had motor officers agree with me.

In the car I'm much more subdued. A lot of times if
someone cuts me off I just go around them...maybe change
lanes right back in front of them, and I'm over it. Or
sometimes I'll see someone being a not-so-good driver
and I'll toy around with them a bit; like speeding up
and slowing down at appropriate times so they can't
slalom their way through traffic like they are so
obviously and desperately trying to do.

Fortunately I'm one of those individuals that becomes one
with the vehicle I'm operating so my reflexes are pretty
damned quick. I've startled myself a few times at how I
just simply went around something and then thought later
"how did I know to do that?"

And in case anyone is wondering, I have only ever had two
tickets in 16 years of driving and 3 accidents, none of
which was my fault.

If you've read this far, sorry this was so off topic.
It was just a chance to gripe a little. I really could

Brian

You're part of the problem, NOT the solution.
GG

T

Jan 1, 1970
0
S

#### Some Guy

Jan 1, 1970
0
Uh, FYI: they have a name for drivers that try to control or punish other
drivers in this (or any other) fashion. The name is: VIGILANTE. And in
case you didn't know, being a vigilante is ILLEGAL. You should be ashamed.
You should be arrested. You should have your license revoked simply based
on this confession of lawbreaking. At least you aren't one of those jerks
who will straddle two lanes in an effort to keep people from passing them in
the merge lane at a road construction site. Or are you......?

Also, you should be made aware that the safest place to be when confronted
with one of those in-a-hurry not-so-good drivers is BEHIND them... so you
can keep an eye on them, and will have time to react if they do cause an
accident. If you are such a good driver, you should be making it easier for
them to get past you, not harder. I would never act in such a way as to
remain in front of a driver I considered to be a hazard.

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