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About Lasers

Daily activities, from scanning items at a grocery store checkout to playing your favorite CD, require the very precise light lasers provide. Explore how laser light differs from regular light, browse a timeline of laser science milestones, and learn about the Nobel Prize winning contributions of the many scientists that made the laser possible.

Lasers in Science and Industry

A report to OSTP on the contribution of lasers to American jobs and the American economy
Prepared by Dr. Thomas M. Baer and Dr. Fred Schlachter

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Laser Timeline

Laser Trapping Erbrium

arrow View the Laser History Timeline


Laser Innovations

Laser InterferometryLaser Interferometry
Lasers can be used to measure distance to exceedingly high precision, using the principle of interference in devices called interferometers. Scientists are now using laser interferometers to probe the fundamental nature of gravity.

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Videos

KickoffLaserFest Kick-off Event
February 12, 2010
National Museum of American History


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Laser History

Over fifty years ago, the invention of the laser revolutionized the way we live. We hope to recognize and honor the scientists and engineers who contributed to laser science, and highlight the important technological applications that have been made possible by their research.

Early History | Timeline

How Lasers Work

The word "LASER" is actually an acronym, standing for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Find out how we are able to take advantage of quantum mechanics to make a laser:

The First Ruby Laser | Extreme Lasers | Videos about Lasers

Laser Pioneers

Founders of the Early Laser | Nobel Laureates

Faces in Laser Science

Arthur Ashkin
Arthur
Ashkin
Patricia Bath
Patricia
Bath
Mildred Dresselhaus
Mildred
Dresselhaus
Michael Fayer
Michael
Fayer
Enrique Galvez
Enrique
Galvez
Guzman
Angela
Guzman
Deborah Jin
Deborah
Jin
Anthony Johnson
Anthony
Johnson
Henry Kapteyn
Henry
Kapteyn
Eric Mazur
Eric
Mazur
Elizabeth F. McCormack
Elizabeth F.
McCormack
Carmen Menoni
Carmen
Menoni
Harold Metcalf
Harold
Metcalf
Margaret Murnane
Margaret
Murnane
Wilson Sibbett
Wilson
Sibbett
Peter Sorokin
Peter
Sorokin
Warren S. Warren
Warren S.
Warren
Watt W. Webb
Watt W.
Webb
Herbert Winful
Herbert
Winful
James Wynne
James
Wynne
 

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