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Advancing the laser: SPIE honors breakthroughs, applications, possibilities

23 October 2009

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- SPIE is paying tribute to the laser and the individuals and labs advancing the technology, in celebration of the 50th anniversary in 2010 of the invention of the first laser.

The Advancing the Laser tribute showcases ongoing development of the technology through extensive free-access technical and feature articles and video interviews with research and industry leaders. Links are posted on spie.org/advancingthelaser with new content added regularly.Advancing the Laser

Recent posts include a newly open-access archival article from the SPIE Digital Library by Anthony Siegman, a feature article from the member magazine SPIE Professional by Jeff Hecht on current acceleration in laser innovation, and a technical article from the SPIE Newsroom on new research in organic semiconductor lasers by Timo Mappes' group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

SPIE events in Europe and North America throughout 2010 will feature special events and presentations, panel discussions, displays, student and educator programs, and recognition programs.

A major celebration will be held at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco in January, with a "Cirque du Lasaire" reception, a display of 50 years of laser equipment, a multimedia tribute to laser legends and technology leaders, the LASE best student paper and multimedia contest, an industry panel, featured talks, and other activities.

SPIE also is participating in the science community collaboration LaserFest as a Founding Partner and Sponsor along with the Optical Society (OSA) and the American Physical Society (APS). Numerous other organizations and individuals have also signed on as partners and sponsors. See a complete list and more information at laserfest.org.LaserFest

LaserFest will honor the pioneers responsible for the discovery, development and application of the laser, as well as inform students, educators, legislators, funding agencies, and the general public about the impact of the laser and the importance of scientific and technological innovation. Educational outreach will focus on raising awareness of today's laser technologies and tomorrow's possibilities.

The successful operation of Theodore Maiman's ruby laser on 16 May 1960 marked the move of the technology into the realm of industry. In the ensuing years, the laser has become an essential tool in a plethora of applications including manufacturing, energy, medicine, communications, research, and more.

As a light-based application, the laser has always been a core topical area for SPIE. The Society has published more than 75,000 proceedings and journal articles on laser technology, with new articles added to the SPIE Digital Library every year. SPIE annually organizes conferences on lasers and related technologies including biomedical optics, remote sensing, infrared, communications, microelectronics, optoelectronics, and others.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world. For more information, visit SPIE.org.


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Media contact:
Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478
amy@spie.org

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