Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Laser

Forty-eight years ago today, Theodore Maiman used a synthetic ruby to create the world's first laser. Maiman didn't invent the theory, but he did build the first working laser.

A number of brilliant minds have worked on laser technology over the past half-century, and without them we wouldn't have such things as DVD players, laser eye surgery, laser range-finders, laser welding, or optical computer mice. Sometimes it still amazes me how a single scientific or technological advance can lead to such great advances in our understanding of the universe and our quality of life.

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