Laser Turns 50
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
May 17, 2010... It was 50 years ago on May 16, at the Hughes Research lab in Malibu, California when Theodore Maimen demonstrated the first laser that flashed a bright red spot onto a photo-detector. Hughes Lab later went on to become the defense and military research company, Raytheon. The word LASER is an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Lasers use optical or electrical energy to excite a material which can then amplify light.
In another advance that occurred some two years after the first laser was demonstrated, GE Scientist Robert Hall invented the first semiconductor (diode) laser in 1962.
Diode lasers are the most ubiquitous kind. A diode laser is a laser in which the gain medium is a semiconductor material. such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, or indium phosphide . Most of the lasers in our daily lives from TV remote controls, CD players, and price code scanners in stores to laser printers, are laser diodes.
Lasers also enable the Internet which uses them to transmit data through fiber optic cables to computers.
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