Lasers are some of the most interesting inventions of the 20th century. Many people don’t realize the significant impact they have on everyday life. Lasers help turn so many great ideas into reality through manufacturing tools. At CEL, we use lasers to perform high precision sheet metal cuts, bringing you everything from industrial machine parts and plates to custom fabricated products. The medical industry also uses lasers for high tech surgery procedures, and the defense industry is creating new laser uses every day. In short, lasers take part in the majority of everyday background tasks.
There are so many interesting facts surrounding lasers. Did you know that the word laser started out as an acronym? L.A.S.E.R. used to stand for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The first appearance of the modern laser concept was previously called a “M.A.S.E.R.” which used microwave frequencies. The first optical laser was built in 1960 by Theodore Maiman. He achieved a continuous beam of light by shining a high intensity lamp on to a ruby crystal rod coated in silver.
Over the years, lasers found their way into the manufacturing sector to form the complex laser cutters we use today. The first CO2 laser was built by Bell Labs in 1964. CO2 lasers are especially useful in material processing because their wavelength is blocked by many materials, including glass to a degree. Since the light emission is not reflected, it heats the metal very quickly and eventually cuts through it with micrometer precision. Although lasers can cut most metals very effectively, it takes additional power to cut through highly reflective surfaces.
To summarize the many additional facts surrounding the evolution of lasers, we built an infographic discussing various laser facts. Enjoy!