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Proceedings Paper

Past, present, and future of laser technology
Author(s): Giuseppe Baldacchini
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Paper Abstract

The laser is one of the most fantastic and versatile tool invented recently, although its story began with luminescent phenomena, which have been always at the center of curiosity of mankind since ancient times. However the important aspects of the luminescence have been discovered in the past century, and only in the present one the various basic and technical knowledges coalesced for the realization of the first laser device. Since then the field exploded almost exponentially, and thousands of different materials, in the state of solids, liquids, vapors, gases, plasmas, and elementary particles have lased up to now. However only a few of them became practical lasers, which have been used with outstanding results both in basic science, and in industrial and commercial applications. Due to the vastness ofthe laser field, only the most important aspects will be considered here, starting from the essential historical background, describing the rapid evolution of the main laser systems in the past decades, and trying to forecast the near future developments. In general, although a few sectors show signs of maturity, the field as a whole looks well alive and there will be a new golden age as a consequence of impressive technological advances.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3423, Second GR-I International Conference on New Laser Technologies and Applications, (14 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316553
Show Author Affiliations
Giuseppe Baldacchini, ENEA Frascati (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3423:
Second GR-I International Conference on New Laser Technologies and Applications
Alexis Carabelas; Paolo Di Lazzaro; Amalia Torre; Giuseppe Baldacchini, Editor(s)

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