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Advancing the Laser interviews - SPIE Newsroom


The complete collection of laser interviews, released during the laser's 50th Anniversary year.

Advancing the Laser

Ted Maiman's laser shines again: 15 May 2010.

40. James Wynne, IBM
The discovery of surgical applications of the excimer laser: A turkey carcass played a key role in uncovering the potential of the argon-fluoride excimer laser at 193 microns and its eventual widespread application in eye surgery.

39. David Hargis, CVI Melles Griot
Lasers in the biotech marketplace: The vice president of engineering at CVI Melles Griot Laser Group talks about the company's evolution and efforts to serve the biomedical instrument market.

38. Edward Moses, National Ignition Facility
Progress at the National Ignition Facility: Now engaged in a series of shots that will lead up to conducting full-scale ignition experiments as part of the National Ignition Campaign, the NIF is nearing its objective, says its director.

37. John Madey, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
The Free-electron laser: The father of the FEL talks about current research and potential applications of the technology, from genetics to defense and security.

36. LaserMotive
Beaming up laser power: Winners of the 2009 NASA Power Beaming Competition, innovators at LaserMotive are plotting the development course of laser propulsion.

35. John L. Hall, Univ. of Colorado
Laser measurement: The winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics reflects on a career spent with a fascination for lasers and science.

34. Martin Richardson, Univ. of Central Florida
The Townes Laser Institute at CREOL: From his graduate studies in the first years of the laser to the directorship of the Townes Laser Institute, his career encompasses many of the most important names and developments in technology.

33. Margaret Murnane, Univ. of Colorado
Ultrashort-pulse lasers: Her groundbreaking research in femtosecond lasers helped to fuel exciting research developments leading to today's commercial applications.

32. Valentin Gapontsev, IPG Photonics
Diverse applications of fiber lasers: A late start at entrepreneurship and an uncertain situation in Russia did not deter the founder of IPG Photonics from writing a success story with fiber lasers.

31. David Payne, University of Southampton
The erbium-doped fiber amplifier: The EDFA was a key development in optical communications, fueling an explosion in bandwidth. Payne puts it in context, reviewing early developments and possibilities ahead.

30. British Columbia Cancer Agency
Laser diagnosis and treatment developments in cancer research: Tissue pathology can be detected in vivo by optical methods through minimally invasive endoscopy. Haishan Zang and his researchers explain their work in the Cancer Imaging department, focused on Raman spectroscopy of internal and external surfaces.

29. Adolf Giesen, German Aerospace Center
The development of the disk laser: Based on a revolutionary laser-beam source concept, the disk laser achieved high efficiency and beam quality. It provides a high laser output and an ultra-short pulse capacity.

28. Gérard Mourou, École Polytechnique
The development of chirped pulse amplification: Mourou's invention of CPA made possible the generation of extremely high laser intensities.

27. Martin Seifert, Nufern
Adapting to changing laser markets: Throughout its development, Nufern has successfully adjusted its course in response to changes in the economy, new ownership and new capabilities.

26. Kumar Patel, Pranalytica
The development of the CO2 laser: After more than 30 years at Bell Labs, Patel founded a company dedicated to trace-gas measurement technologies for industrial, environmental, and security applications.

25. Steven Jacques, Oregon Health & Science University
The laser's impact on biomedicine: In his lab at Oregon Health and Science University, Jacques and his researchers have developed new modalities for diagnosis and treatment. He reflects on the laser's key role.

24. Maiman's first laser
First laser light shines again: At the laser's 50th anniversary celebration at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Ted Maiman's original device was reactivated in front of an appreciative audience.

23. Anthony DeMaria, Coherent Laser Division
Laser work, 1960 to the present: From the perspective of a 50-year career in lasers, the chief scientist at the Coherent Laser Division talks about important advances and applications, and offers advice for entrepreneurs.

22. Peter Moulton, Q-Peak
The Ti:sapphire laser has gained broad usage and new applications in biological research and other areas since its inception in 1982.

21. Mike Dunne, HiPER and UK Science & Technology Facilities Council
HiPER and the quest for fusion energy: We are at a golden age of laser development and exploitation -- seeing rapid enhancement of capability into ever higher powers and ever shorter pulses, and the emergence of a wide range of applications.

20. Studying brain malfunctions with lasers
Nozomi Nishimura explains how researchers use femtosecond laser pulses to model and study the effects of stroke and Alzheimer's in brain cells.

19. Quantum memory based on rare-earth ion-doped crystals
Elizabeth Goldschimdt explains research at NIST on a solid-state quantum memory and single photon gun, promising for a variety of quantum information applications.

18. Katarina Svanberg, Lund University Hospital
Lasers in oncology: Lasers have a multifaceted role in oncology, and have increased patient survival through their use in tumor detection and treatment.

17. Federico Capasso, Harvard University
The quantum cascade laser: The mature technology of the QCL is now finding commercial applications.

16. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Univ. of Arizona
Lasers and nonlinear optics: The "father of nonlinear optics" talks about his important research on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

15. Robert McCrory, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Univ. of Rochester
The Laboratory for Laser Energetics: For 40 years, LLE at the University of Rochester has been advancing high-energy laser research and education.

14. Tayyaba Hasan, Harvard Medical School and Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Photodynamic therapy: The clinical uses of PDT have expanded, and research is underway on a variety of cancers as well as infectious diseases.

13. Andreas Ostendorf, Ruhr-University Bochum
German laser research: After a recent move from Laser Zentrum Hannover to Ruhr-University Bochum, Ostendorf has a broad perspective on laser research in Germany.

12. Scott Keeney, nLight
Staying ahead of the laser market: On building a laser company and keeping track of where the market is headed.

11. Charles Townes, University of California, Berkeley
The early days of maser and laser research: The SPIE 2010 Gold Medal winner reminisces about the formative years of the laser, and talks about new horizons in science.

10. Joe Schmitt, LightLab Imaging, Inc.
Commercializing OCT: The chief technology officer of LightLab Imaging talks about the company's efforts in developing optical coherence tomography products for clinical use.

9. Peter Leibinger, TRUMPF GmbH + Co.
The TRUMPF history in lasers: The executive of Germany's industrial laser giant talks about the evolution of the company and its future directions.

8. Jeff Hecht
A visit to the historic laser display at SPIE Photonics West: The accomplished author on lasers and optics explains the significance of some of the items in the collection.

7. Theodore Maiman
The first laser: In this 1983 video, Ted Maiman recalls the birth of the laser in his lab at Hughes. (Courtesy of Kathleen Maiman)

6. James Fujimoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biophotonics and optical coherence tomography: Jim Fujimoto, symposium chair of SPIE Biomedical Optics at Photonics West, works with students and patients to expand the clinical applications of biomedical optics.

5. John Emmett, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (retired)
Formative years of laser programs at LLNL: Many of the pioneering giant lasers at Lawrence Livermore were built during John Emmett's leadership of laser programs at the lab (1975-1989).

4. Frank Wise, Cornell University
Advances in femtosecond laser research: The director of Cornell's School of Applied and Engineering Physics discusses progress and new directions in femtosecond lasers, as well as the laser's role in fundamental research.

3. Leon Esterowitz, National Science Foundation
From defense to biophotonics: Leon Esterowitz completed his PhD in the early 60s in the early days of the laser. After a career in defense, he moved to NSF, and now reviews funding proposals in biophotonics.

2. Joshua Bienfang, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Advances in quantum cryptography for free-space communications: A free-space laser link at NIST testing quantum cryptography could lead to single-photon source and detector technology, says researcher Joshua Bienfang.

1. R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University Medical School
Lasers key to medical advances: Rox Anderson, symposium chair of SPIE Biomedical Optics at Photonics West, talks about the important role of lasers in medicine, from cancer to heart disease and his own specialty, dermatology.