Laser

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

A laser is a device which amplifies electromagnetic radiation by the process of stimulated emission. The term is generally applied only to the amplification of radiation at or above infrared frequencies (see also maser). While amplification by stimulated emission is the only necessary criterion for a laser, the most familiar devices are those which employ some type of feedback and are referred to as laser oscillators.

Etymology

The term laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is a modification of an earlier term, maser (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

The forms "to lase" and "lasing" are commonly used to describe the action of laser.

History

May 16, 1960 – The world’s first successful laser is demonstrated by Theodore H. Maiman, a junior employee of the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California. [1]

References

  1. Maiman, T. H. “Stimulated Optical Radiation in Ruby.” Nature 187, 493-494, 1960.