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This question has several parts, so it may need to be split into a few questions. I know that Cyclops visor aperture is made of a mixture of powdered ruby-quartz. Has he ever tried using a different material for the visor, and if so did (or would) that change the color and EM wavelength of his optic blasts?

Cyclops Visor

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Cyclop's optic blast is not electromagnetic energy so its signature color has never changed. Nothing is known about the dimension from which the red kinetic energy is released. It is the same color even when he does not wear his visor.

  • Ruby quartz crystals resonate at the same frequency as the psionic field that protects both Cyclops and Havok from their own powers.

  • The beam is a kinetic energy coming from an other-dimensional aperture focused over his eyes. A traumatic brain injury prevents him from controlling the aperture so he needs the visor to compensate.

  • As to whether other materials are more or less effective, I suspect Professor X tried many things before settling down with the ruby quartz he uses today. Unfortunately for Cyclops, ruby quartz is rather rare, so it is fortunate he does not need much. On Marvel Earth-616 there is sufficient supply for it to be used in a variety of technologies used by agencies such as SHIELD.

  • While ruby quartz was selected, there is little reason another variety of quartz could not function in a similar fashion since the difference in coloration is merely the addition of trace elements within the quartz crystals.

  • So it's the quartz that is vibrating at his psionic fequency not the Ruby, or is it a combination of the two? – Monty129 Nov 28 '12 at 17:43
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    Ruby quartz is a type of quartz. It is not made from a combination of ruby AND quartz. It is a particular type of quartz. If they were saying it was an amalgam of ruby and quartz, they should have been writing it as ruby-quartz. Since they haven't I am forced to assume it is a particular type of quartz with ruby as a designation of its color type such as rose quartz. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 28 '12 at 17:58
  • the Marvel Comics Database does have it listed as Ruby-Quartz however Wikipedia has it without the hypen. I found an article that states that Ruby Quartz has only recently been discovered and most "Ruby Quartz" is synthetic in nature because true Ruby Quartz is extremely brittle – Monty129 Nov 28 '12 at 18:56
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    Back in the day...It was just called a ruby quartz visor. I suspect, as often is the case, when science caught up with the X-men, people began to question whether it was quartz or ruby-quartz. In the end, it doesn't really matter since it is just a special effect (it helps keep his power under control) it doesn't add anything or subtract anything. It is assumed he will have the resources to get or recreate the material as needed and keeps a supply on hand (just in case). What I always wondered about was his RQ contact lenses. How did he put them on without opening his eyes first... – Thaddeus Howze Nov 28 '12 at 19:34

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