Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Little Laser History

The name LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In 1917, Albert Einstein first theorized about the process which makes lasers possible called "Stimulated Emission." However, the first actual LASER wasn’t built until 1960 when Dr. T.H. Maiman at Hughes Aircraft Company, using a synthetic ruby rod stimulated by high intensity flashlamps, generated millisecond pulses of coherent 694nm Ruby Laser (red) light.

Even though the first laser was made in a laboratory back in 1960, it took several decades to apply this tool to various technologies. Now, lasers are indispensable to our daily lives. Many common home or office devices house lasers as an intrinsic part of their performance. Lasers are in practically every major industry, from medicine and computers, to entertainment and construction. A power rating, usually in watts, determines the strength of the laser. Some lasers can cut through metal, while others merely read tiny bits of information without damaging the surface. Basically, the application of lasers can be divided into marking, etching, and cutting, or reading and scanning.

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