The expanded form of the term LASER is Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Light emitted through electromagnetic radiation is focused on a particular object to find out, investigate or cure it. The light is manipulated by lens to focus on the subjects to be investigated. Light here does not mean only the light that we see with our naked eyes, but even infra red rays and ultraviolet rays which we cannot see.
History of Laser
Though Albert Einstein, the famous physicist, first laid the foundations for LASER in 1917, LASER as a common tool used for diagnostic and curative measures was invented much later. May 16, 1960 was the important day when Theodore Maiman demonstrated how laser could be used for storing data in devices like the Compact Disc (CD) and DVD. This was shown at a Research Laboratory. People called it ‘a solution looking for a problem’ in the 60s but now lasers are used everywhere, in thousands of applications.
Applications of LASER
Science, medicine, industry, information technology, law enforcement, entertainment, military, consumer electronics and others use laser beams extensively. So much so that one wonders how people survived without the use of laser all these years. Lasers have become very common now. We have all seen extra terrestrial beings using laser beams in science fiction movies and on screen films. It looks like magic, the way the sci-fi heroes shoot using laser beams. Perhaps the first important use of laser in the lives of common people was in the supermarket barcode scanner where a laser beam is used for scanning the price of the products. This started around 1974. Laserdisc players, compact disc and laser printers became common around 1982.
Laser today is used in several useful medical procedures. We now see laser applications being used in bloodless surgeries like removal of kidney stones, or in dentistry, laser eye surgery and the like. Laser treatment, though expensive, is used for curing and solving many medical problems. Cataracts in the eyes are removed safely using laser treatment and the patient gets cured very fast, without any side effects. In industry lasers are used in cutting, welding and in heat treatments.
The latest are laser light shows which are common in Singapore in their shows for public entertainment, on opening days of sports festivals and the like. They are very attractive and mind-boggling. Laser is used in research as in spectroscopy. Thermometers and bubblegrams also use laser technology. The defense section uses lasers in guiding ammunitions, marking targets and can be used to blind enemy troops. Actual laser weapons are being invented and are entering the market. The laser beams hit the target with pulses of light which rapidly evaporate and expand, causing shock waves on the target which can damage it.
Beauty treatments too use laser in various forms. Unwanted hair removal using laser, acne removal, cellulite reduction all use laser. By removing hair through laser, there is less chance of hair growing all over again, but beware of laser hair removal side-effects and complications. People use laser treatment in the reduction of fats as well. There are several new methods of using laser technology and everywhere round the world people are experimenting and inventing them.