Lasers are both fun and fascinating for all ages. They are used for both function and entertainment. From pointers to toys to laser engraving, there are hundreds of uses for this wonderful invention. Along with some useful information, here are some fun and interesting facts on lasers:
Albert Einstein established the theory of lasers in 1917, but the first working laser was not demonstrated until May 16, 1960 by Theodore H. Mainman. It used a synthetic ruby crystal to emit a red light.
Gordon Gould was working on possible applications for laser technology such as radar and nuclear fusion. He filed a patent application in 1959 and was denied. It was awarded the following year to Bell Lbs., sparking a 28 year lawsuit.
Carbon Monoxide lasers are what is used for laser engraving on materials. Aside from this popular method, there are seven other types of gas lasers used for various processes. There are also four types of chemical lasers used in weaponry research and application. There is one type of dye laser used in medical and cosmetic applications and eight types of metal-vapor lasers used in printing and scientific research applications. There are also over 20 types of solid-state lasers used in a wide variety of applications including counter measuring against heat seeking missiles. Nine types of Semiconductor lasers are used in a variety communication applications, medical applications and that equals a lot of lasers!
The most powerful laser recorded was on July 5th 2012 in Livermore California. It unleashed a 1.85 mega joule blast into a special chamber. This blast delivered over 500 trillion watts of power. It was only turn on for a fraction of a second. For comparison, it takes about 10-30 watts for laser engraving.
Star Wars Light Sabers are perhaps one of the most popular types of laser imitation toys. Much research has shown that it would be impossible to recreate a real light saber as depicted in the movies. One of the many problems involved is how to contain the laser beam. With our current technology the beam would travel for a very long distance, much unlike the movies.
Laser engraving has become one of the most popular ways to customize jewelry and other fine items. The Acronym LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Laser engraving can cut through metals and gold. Laser machines are now being used on a much larger scale to be considered for knocking debris out of the way of satellites in space to avoid costly collisions. The machines would remain on earth and send carefully aimed blasts into space directly at the offending floating objects.
A laser refueling system has been invented that can refuel drones while in flight via a laser system. This increased their flight duration by 2400%. The batteries in the test drones resulted with a greater charge during their in-flight laser “refuel” then their initial ground charge.
The use of this technology has made many technical advances since its discovered use in laser engraving. We can now are using this amazing technology to help advance science, security and medical procedures. With the increasing uses that we find for this amazing invention, who knows what we will have invented in the next 50 years.