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.
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.
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.
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
Founders of the Early Laser | Nobel Laureates