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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Short history of laser development
Author(s): Jeff Hecht

Paper Abstract

Half a century has passed since Theodore Maiman's small ruby rod crossed the threshold of laser emission. The breakthrough demonstration earned headlines, but in the early years the laser was called "a solution looking for a problem," and there was a germ of truth in the joke. Years of development since then have vastly improved laser performance, and tremendously increased their variety, earning lasers important roles in scientific research, consumer products, telecommunications, engineering, medicine, materials working, and a host of other applications. This article reviews the highlights of those developments and puts them into context, showing how laser technology has evolved to meet application requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2010
PDF: 23 pages
Opt. Eng. 49(9) 091002 doi: 10.1117/1.3483597
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 49, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Jeff Hecht, Laser Focus World (United States)

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