The Past and Future of the Laser

While it’s not aprt of the official LaserFest package of stuff, Physics World is marking the 50th anniversary of the laser with a couple of really nice pieces on lasers in science and popular culture:

  • Where next for the laser interviews six laser experts– Claire Max of UCSC, Bill Phillips of NIST, Steven Block of Stanford, science writer Jeff Hecht, John Madey of Hawaii’s FEL lab, and Eric Gustafson of Caltech and LIGO.– about the current status of lasers in their areas of science, and the future prospects.
  • From ray-gun to Blu-Ray is a very nice survey of lasers and laser-like devices in popular culture, from the various uses of lasers in science fiction films to the practical applications of lasers in optical data storage and bar-code scanners and the like.

Both pieces are well worth reading on a cold and dreary Saturday. Or any other kind of day, really.

2 thoughts on “The Past and Future of the Laser

  1. Perhaps betraying my cluelessness about lasers, I can only think of the Austin Powers films.

    “Fire the [quote-fingers] ‘laser’!”

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