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About LaserFest

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Optical atomic clock: This optical atomic clock at NIST uses two magnetic coils (red rings) and an optical lattice (red laser beam), as well as intersecting violet lasers to cool ytterbium atoms, slowing their motion. Image Credit: NIST

2010—Year of the Laser

Laserfest is a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser, which was first demonstrated in 1960, and is a collaboration between the American Physical Society, the Optical Society, SPIE and IEEE Photonics Society. From DVD players to eye surgery, the laser is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century—one that has revolutionized the way we live.

LaserFest Celebrations

Events around the world will showcase how the laser works, the history of the laser and its impact on society, and the laser's potential for the future.

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arrow Browse photos from the Feb. 12 LaserFest celebration honoring laser pioneers at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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