Uses of Lasers

Initially, the laser was called an invention looking for a job.
- Harry Stine.  (Talbot)

Medical Lasers:

Medical lasers can be used as a scalpel.  Since the laser can be controlled and can have such a small contact area it is ideal for fine cutting and depth control.  Medical lasers can also be used to reattach retinas and can be used in conjunction with fiber optics to place the laser beem where it needs to be.  Medical lasers can also be used to stitch up incisions after surgery, by fusing together skin. (LFI)
Laser shows are quite popular and the special effects are amazing.  These use lasers that are in the visible spectrum along with vibrating mirrors to paint images in the air.  Here is an example of a dance with lasers in the background:

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You might noticed the fog in the background, that is what allows the laser light to reflect and you to view it.  Another example of laser entertainment is the use of laser signs at trade shows.  Here is an example of a laser Microsoft sign:

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Computers and Music:
One popular use of lasers is the reading of CD.  CD's function by having a reflective aluminum layer that has very small pits put in the aluminum.  The pits and the lack of are translated into binary by the computer and then are used for information.  Another use of lasers is in the use of fiber optics.  Since lasers travel very fast they make an ideal way to communicate.  The laser is shot down a fiberglass tube to a receiver.  These wires can be very long with no loss of signal quality.  Also modern multiplexing of the line lets two lasers of different frequencies share the same line. (Serway)


Metal working:
Lasers very accurate point and solid state construction make it ideal or industrial production.  Lasers allow better cuts on metals and the welding of dissimilar metals with out the use of a flux.  Also lasers can be mounted on robotic arms and used in factors.  This is safer then oxygen and acetylene, or arc welding. (Impulse)

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