60 Years of Lasers.
Pump up the Light.
On 16 May 1960, building on earlier work by OSA Members Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow, as well as numerous others, Theodore Maiman fired the first working laser. The pink ruby laser emitted mankind's first coherent light, and the world was forever changed.
The new horizons opened by the laser spurred an intense interest in applying optics to new problems. The breadth of those applications is hard to overstate. Only a few years after the first laser demonstration, the ability to create bright, coherent beams had exposed unusual forms of light-matter interaction that had never been seen before—and given birth to the enormously fruitful field of nonlinear optics. Lasers found new applications in spectroscopy, surgery, biological and molecular imaging, and a range of other areas, expected and unexpected. The parallel growth of electronics, in the wake of discoveries in semiconductors and transistors, gave rise to the new field of electro-optics.
Optics & Photonics News: The Laser at 60
Six decades after the first working laser was demonstrated, OPN offers a few samples of the incredibly rich field the device has created.
OSA Fellow Interviews
For its May 2020 feature issue PN interviewed OSA Fellows working in a variety of areas of laser technology to get a reading on the laser’s progress, six decades after its initial demonstration. These interviews will be shared throughout the first half of May.
Key Laser Research & Publications
Commemorate 60 years of the laser with OSA Publishing as we highlight collections of published content on significant advancements in laser technology and innovation.