24 May 2010
Physicists will have a defining role to play in the next 50 years of the laser.
It was on 16 May 1960 that Theodore Maiman – then a 32-year-old engineer-turned-physicist at Hughes Research Laboratories in the US – eked out the first pulses of light from a pink-ruby crystal. Since then the laser has become a workhorse of physics and ingrained in everyday life.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser, physicsworld.com is offering a free PDF download of the May special issue of Physics World magazine (The Laser at 50). You can download the issue by following this link.
If that's not enough, you can also visit the physicsworld.com multimedia channel for a series of exclusive video interviews exploring how lasers are shaping different areas of science and technology:
All of the interviews were filmed during SPIE's 2010 Photonics West conference, which saw nearly 20,000 photonics scientists and engineers from all over the world gather in San Francisco to share their latest results.