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How Does a Laser Work?

Lasers are small yet powerful beams of concentrated light. These beams of light are so powerful that they are able to perform a number of tasks that one would think were impossible for a simple beam of light. Since the creation of lasers, laser technology has continued to grow and flourish. Today, these powerful, concentrated beams of light are used for a variety of purposes.

How Do Lasers Work?

Lasers work to amplify a light source and turn it into one powerful, concentrated beam. Electricity must be supplied to the laser through a power supply. Lasers can be powered through the use of batteries, electricity, or even another laser. Lasers also must have a medium that produces amplification of light. Once a laser has power and something to pass through, it becomes a concentrated beam. This beam can then be emitted outward in a single line of bright light. The word "laser" is an acronym that stands for "light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation."

Who Invented the Laser?

The invention of lasers is a controversial area. The first laser is said to have been invented by a man named Charles H. Townes. But while some people say that there was one sole inventor or team of inventors of the laser, others argue that this is not the case. Several patents were secured in the creation of the laser, and some argue that there is no single inventor of lasers; rather it was a group effort. Despite the controversy, laser technology has grown and improved rapidly throughout the past several years. Those who come up with new forms or uses for laser lights are highly regarded.

How Is Laser Light Different From Ordinary Light?

There are big differences between ordinary lights, or natural lights, and laser lights. Natural light generally illuminates a large area. This is because the natural light and other light sources are designed to distribute light to larger areas. With natural light being distributed and not focused into one beam, it is much less powerful than a laser light. Laser lights are much more focused than natural light sources.

What Do We Use Lasers For?

In the beginning, the use of a laser was limited to areas of science and exploration. Today, as laser technology and technology in general has advanced, the uses are numerous. Many average people use lasers as a source of entertainment. This is possible through devices such as laser pointers and can be very fun and educational when they are used safely and responsibly. Other uses for lasers are found in the medical and chemistry fields. Lasers are often used in communications and information processing devices. They are frequently used during experiments in science fields, particularly in chemistry. Lasers can also be useful to surgeons and in diagnosing and treating various types of cancers. Laser-cutters are also a common use for lasers.

What Other Kinds of Lasers Are There?

While there are highly powerful types of lasers that are used in medical work, chemistry labs, and the development of technology, there are other types as well. A popular type of laser is a laser pointer. Laser pointers are designed for public use and are nowhere near as powerful as the lasers used in professional settings. When it comes to professional lasers, there are several varieties that can be used dependent upon the specific need. Lasers can be divided into gas, liquid, or solid lasers. In gas lasers, the medium consists of a single gas or vapor or a combination of more than one. In liquid lasers, a dye is generally used as the medium. Solid lasers use a medium such as crystal or glass.

Additional Information on Lasers

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