In 1960 Ted Maiman fired the world's first laser, a very low-powered device by today's standards that was dubbed a "death-ray" by some and a "solution looking for a problem" by others. Today the laser touches our lives in countless ways -- from the supermarket scanner to DVD players, from cosmetic surgery to state-of-the-art medical advances, from connecting people through the Internet to keeping our communities secure -- lasers are everywhere in today's world.
This video looks at how lasers impact our lives today and into the future through comments from a collection of laser pioneers and the researchers who are advancing the technology. The video was produced by SPIE as part of its Advancing the Laser celebration. It was first presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers.