Laser and optical systems, whether used in academic labs or industry, are very susceptible to vibrations from the environment, and so these instruments frequently need vibration isolation.
They measure a very few angstroms or nanometers of displacement and need an absolutely stable surface upon which to rest. Any vibration, coupled into the mechanical structure of the instrument, causes vertical noise and a fundamental inability to measure these kinds of high-resolution features.
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Negative-stiffness-mechanism or NSM vibration isolation enables laser and optical instruments such as scanning probe microscopes or SPMs, micro-hardness testers, and optical profilers to operate under severe vibration that would otherwise be impractical with passive and electronic isolation systems.