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Congressional resolution honors laser technology

07 May 2010

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Laser technology was recognized as "one of the groundbreaking scientific achievements of the 20th century" by a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.Advancing the Laser: 50 Years and Into the Future

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first laser, on 16 May 1960 by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Labs in California.

SPIE is marking the anniversary observance through its year-long Advancing the Laser: 50 Years and Into the Future tribute and as a Founding Partner of LaserFest, a collaborative celebration of the laser community that helped bring Congressional attention to the event.

"SPIE is very pleased that Congress has seen fit to give this high level of recognition to a technology that has helped move photonics research forward in many fields, has dramatically improved the quality of life, and has specific applications that promise to solve even more energy and healthcare challenges," said SPIE President Ralph James.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Michigan), and notes the achievements of numerous laser pioneers including MaimanTheodore Maiman, inventor of the first laser, Nobel Laureates Charles Townes, Nikolay Basov, and Aleksandr Prokhorov, and others.

Read the full text of the resolution.

Visit the Advancing the Laser website to tour a virtual museum of vintage laser equipment, view video interviews with laser experts, see slides from a photo tribute to pioneers, request free posters and DVDs, and more; find additional laser information on the LaserFest website.

SPIE , the international society for optics and photonics, was 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. In Europe, SPIE supports the optics and photonics community by acting as an advocate and liaison to political and industry associations.

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