Celebrating 50 Years of Laser Innovation:  LaserFest!

2010—Year of the Laser

Throughout 2010, LaserFest celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laser which was first demonstrated in 1960.  This celebration was a collaboration between the Optical Society, the American Physical Society, SPIE and IEEE Photonics Society. From DVD players to eye surgery, the laser is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century—one that has revolutionized the way we live.

Over 95 organizations around the world held events to showcase how the laser works, the history of the laser, its impact on society, and the laser's potential for the future.

LaserFest 2010
LaserFest Sponsors
LaserFest Posters
LaserFest Voices
The Optical Society Of America - LaserFest

About Lasers

Daily activities, from scanning items at a grocery store checkout to playing your favorite CD, require the very precise light lasers provide. Explore how laser light differs from regular light, browse a timeline of laser science milestones, and learn about the Nobel Prize winning contributions of the many scientists that made the laser possible.

Laser History

Over fifty years ago, the invention of the laser revolutionized the way we live. LaserFest recognized and honored the scientists and engineers who contributed to laser science, and highlighted the important technological applications that have been made possible by their research.

Laser Trapping Erbrium
View the Laser History Timeline

Early History | Timeline

How Lasers Work

The word "LASER" is actually an acronym, standing for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Find out how we are able to take advantage of quantum mechanics to make a laser:

The First Ruby Laser | Extreme Lasers | Videos about Lasers

Laser Pioneers

Founders of the Early Laser | Nobel Laureates



OSA Video Library

LaserFest Logos

Laserfest logo

Download Horizontal Logo
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LaserFest Wallpaper

Design 1  |  Design 2  |  Design 3


Promotional Brochures

Welcome to LaserFest

You're Invited to Celebrate 50 Years of Laser Innovation

LaserFest Press Releases

Additional Resources

Cover of OPN Special Issue on Lasers

Special Edition OPN Celebrating 50 Years of the Laser