1900, Max Planck published his most important work about the relation of energy
and the frequency of radiation. He says that energy can be emit or absorb only
in discrete chunk. His theory made a turning point in physics and inspired
Albert Einstein. In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed that light also delivers its
energy in chunks in his
paper about the photoelectric effect and then discrete quantum particles were
call photons. After that, in 1917, “Stimulated Emission” is a process
proposed by Albert Einstein. The process is about how to make lasers possible.
He also found out that electrons could be also stimulated to emit light of a
particular wavelength besides absorbing and emitting light spontaneously.
Nearly 40 years is needed before the emissions can be amplify by scientists,
showing that Albert Einstein is right and leading lasers on the road to become
the tools that are strong and universal as they are today. In April 26, 1951, Charles
Hard Townes formed an idea of microwave amplification by stimulated emission of
radiation, in short maser. In year 1954, the first maser was demonstrate at
Columbia University by Charles Hard Townes, Herbert J. Zeiger and James
P.Gordon. The ammonia maser gain the first amplification and generation of
electromagnetic waves by stimulating emission.
1955 Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, Nikolai G. Basov and Alexander M.
Prokhorov try to make oscillators. Pumping method is introduce which involve
the production of a negative absorption. In 1956, Nicolaas Bloembergen invented
the microwave solid-state maser. Nov. 13, 1957, the first use of acronym laser
is by Gordon Gould, a graduate student from Columbia University. He notarizes
his idea in a candy store in Bronx. He then joined a private research company
TRG (Technical Research Group). In 1958, Townes and Arthur L. Schawlow display
that maser could be made to work in the optical and infrared regions and imply
how it can be completed. Basov and Prokhorov also are exploring the
possibilities of applying maser principles in the optical region.In April 1959,
Gould and TRG apply for laser-related patents stemming from Gould’s ideas but
later their application is denied in March 22, 1960 and the patent is granted
to Townes and Schawlow. Then Gould and TRG launch what would become a 30-year
patent dispute related to laser invention.
May 16, 1960, Theodore H. Maiman constructs the first laser at Hughes Research
Laboratories in Malibu, Calif. He uses a cylinder of synthetic ruby measuring 1
cm in diameter and 2 cm long, with the ends silver-coated to make them
reflective and able to serve as a Fabry-Perot resonator. He uses photographic
flashlamps as the laser’s pump source. Mainman’s accomplishment were announced
in July 7, 1960. In November 1960, the
uranium laser, is shown by Peter P. Sorokin and Mirek J. Stevenson of the IBM Thomas
J. Watson Research Center. In December 1960, Ali Javan, William Bennett Jr. and
Donald Herriott of Bell Labs develop the helium-neon (HeNe) laser, the first to
generate a continuous beam of light at 1.15 ?m. In 1961, Lasers started to
appear on commercial market through Trion Instruments Inc., Perkin-Elmer and
second International Quantum Electronics meeting in March 1961, Robert W.
Hellwarth suggest that a vivid enhancement in the ruby laser can be achieve by
making the laser’s pulse more predictable and controllable.
October 1961, the first operation of a neodymium glass (Nd:glass) laser is
reported by American Optical Co.’s Elias Snitzer. The first medical treatment
on a human patient by using laser is on December 1961 at Columbia-Presbyterian
Hospital in Manhattan. It is performed by Dr. Charles J Campbell of the
Institute of Ophthalmology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Charles
J. Koester of the American Optical Co. The American Optical ruby laser was used
to destroy retinal tumor. In 1962, Hellwarth proves his laser theory by
generating peak powers 100 times that of ordinary ruby lasers by using
electrically switched Kerr cell shutters. The giant pulse formation technique
is then called Q-switching. Its first application is the welding of springs for
watches. In 1962,a gallium-arsenide laser which is a semiconductor device that
converts electrical energy directly into infrared light is develop by groups at
GE, IBM and MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. But the device must be cryogenically
cooled. In October 1962, a scientist at a General Electric Co. lab, named Nick Holonyak
Jr., released his work about the
“visible red” GaAsP (gallium arsenide phosphide) laser diode which is for
today’s red LEDs used in CDs, DVD players and mobile phones.
June 1962, the first yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG) laser is reported by Bell
Labs. In early 1963: $1 million is estimated for
the annual sales for the commercial of lasers by Barron’s magazine. In that
same year, the first demonstration of a mode-locked laser; i.e., a helium-neon
laser with an acousto-optic modulator was reported by Logan E. Hargrove,
Richard L. Fork and M.A. Pollack. Mode locking is fundamental for laser
communication and is the basis for femtosecond lasers.In that year, Herbert
Kroemer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the team of Rudolf
Kazarinov and Zhores Alferov of A.F. Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St.
Petersburg, Russia, also independently suggest the ideas to build semiconductor
lasers from heterostructure devices. The work made Kroemer and Alferov winning
the 2000 Nobel Prize in physics.
March 1964, William B. Bridges of Hughes Research Labs discover pulsed
argon-ion laser which could produce output at several visible and UV
wavelengths,after two years of working on HeNe lasers and xenon lasers. In that
same year, Townes, Basov and Prokhorov are awarded the Nobel Prize in physics
for their “fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led
to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the
maser-laser-principle”. After that, Kumar Patel made the carbon dioxide laser
at Bell Labs. At that time, it is the most powerful operating laser, but it is
now used worldwide as a cutting tool in surgery and industry.The Nd:YAG
(neodymium-doped YAG) laser is also invented in that year by Joseph E. Geusic and
Richard G. Smith. The laser later proves ideal for cosmetic applications, such
as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (lasik) vision correction and skin
1965, two lasers are phase-locked for the first time at Bell Labs. It is an
important step toward optical communications. In that year,the first chemical
laser, a 3.7-?m hydrogen chloride instrument was demonstrated by Jerome V.V.
Kasper and George C. Pimentel at the University of California, Berkeley.
1966, Charles K. at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow, UK, have
a breakthrough in fiber optics. He discover and calculates how to transmit
light over long distances via optical glass fibers. It would be possible to
transmit light signals over a distance of 100 km deciding that with fiber of
purest glass compared with only 20 m for the fibers available in the 1960s. Kao
receives a 2009 Nobel Prize in physics for his work.In that particular year, a
French physicist Alfred Kastler wins the Nobel Prize in physics for his technique
known as optical pumping. It is a method of stimulating atoms to higher energy
states. It was an important step toward the creation of the maser and the
laser. In March 1967, the
tunable dye laser is made by Bernard Soffer and Bill McFarland at Korad Corp.
in Santa Monica, Calif. In February 1968 California, Maiman and other laser
originate found the laser advocacy group Laser Industry Association.
1970, Gould used $1 plus 10 percent of future profits to get back his patent
rights. In that year, the excimer laser also is invented by Basov, V.A.
Danilychev and Yu. M. Popov develop at P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute. In the
spring of 1970, the
first continuous-wave room-temperature semiconductor lasers is made by
Alferov’s group at Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute and Mort Panish and Izuo
Hayashi. In that same year, Drs. Robert D. Maurer, Peter C. Schultz and Donald
B. Keck demonstrated the feasibility
of fiber optics for telecommunications with the first optical fiber with loss
below 20dB/km. Arthur Ashkin also invents optical trapping in that same year.
Optical trapping is the process by which atoms are trapped by laser light. His
work pioneers the field of optical tweezing and trapping and leads to
significant advances in physics and biology. The first semiconductor laser that
operates continuously at room temperature are made by Izuo Hayashi and Morton
B. Panish of Bell Labs in year 1971. In 1972, Charles H. Henry invents the
quantum well laser, which requires much less current than conventional diode
lasers, which is more efficient. Holonyak and students at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first demonstrate the quantum well laser in 1977. A
laser beam is also be used to form electronic circuit patterns on ceramic.
the year 1975, Laser Diode Labs Inc.’s engineers in Metuchen, N.J. develop the
first commercial continuous-wave semiconductor laser operating at room
temperature. It enables transmission of telephone conversations. In that year, Jan
P. Van der Ziel, R. Dingle, Robert C. Miller, William Wiegmann and W.A.
Nordland Jr. made the first quantum-well laser operation. First demonstration of
a semiconductor laser operating continuously at room temperature at a
wavelength beyond one ?m, the forerunner of sources for long-wavelength
lightwave systems is in year 1976. Also in that year, the
first free-electron laser (FEL) is demonstrated by John M.J. Madey and his
group at Stanford University in California. FELs use a beam of electrons that
are accelerated to near light speed, then passed through a periodic transverse
magnetic field to produce coherent radiation. Because the lasing medium
consists only of electrons in a vacuum, FELs do not have the material damage or
thermal lensing problems that plague ordinary lasers and can achieve very high
first commercial installation of a Bell Labs fiber optic lightwave
communications system is completed under the streets of Chicago in year 1977. Oct.
11 of that same year, Gould is issued a patent for optical pumping, and then
used in about 80% of lasers.In year 1978, the LaserDisc hits the home video
market with little impact. The earliest players use HeNe laser tubes to read
the media, while later players use infrared laser diodes. Gould receives a
patent covering a broad range of laser applications.In year 1981, Professor
Arthur Schawlow and Bloembergen receive the Nobel Prize in physics for their
contributions to the development of laser spectroscopy.Peter F. Moulton of
MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory develops the titanium-sapphire laser in year 1982. It
is used to generate short pulses in the picosecond and femtosecond ranges. The
titanium-sapphire laser replaces the dye laser for tunable and ultrafast laser
applications. In October of that year, Billy Joel album “52nd
Street” is the first album released on CD (LaserDisc)
year 1985, laser light is used to slow and manipulate atoms by Bell Labs’
Steven Chu and his colleagues. They used optical molasses (laser cooling
technique) to investigate the behavior of atoms, providing an insight into
quantum mechanics. Chu, Claude N. Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips win a
Nobel Prize for this work in 1997. In the year 1987, erbium-doped fiber
amplifiers is introduced by David Payne at the University of Southampton in the
UK and his team. The amplifiers boost light signals without first having to
convert them into electrical signals and then back into light. This reduced the
cost of long distance fiber optic systems. In year 1988, Gould begins receiving
royalties from his patents. In 1994, Jérôme Faist, Federico Capasso, Deborah L.
Sivco, Carlo Sirtori, Albert L. Hutchinson and Alfred Y. Cho made the quantum
cascade (QC) laser, a semiconductor laser that can simultaneously emit light at
multiple widely separated at Bell Labs. The entire structure of the laser is
manufactured a layer of atoms at a time by the crystal growth technique called
molecular beam epitaxy. The laser’s wavelength can by simply changed by
changing the thickness of the semiconductor layers. The QC laser is good for
remote sensing of gases in the atmosphere because of its room-temperature
operation and power and tuning ranges. The first demonstration of a quantum dot
laser with high threshold density is reported in year 1994 by Nikolai N.
Ledentsov of A.F. Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute.
November 1996, Wolfgang
Ketterle demonstrated the first pulsed atom laser, which uses matter instead of
light at MIT. In January 1997, the
development of a gallium-nitride (GaN) laser was announced by Shuji Nakamura,
Steven P. DenBaars and James S. Speck at the University of California. The
laser emits brightblue-violet light in pulsed operation. In September 2003, the
first laser-powered aircraft is successfully made by a team of researchers from
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. An invisible ground-based
laser that tracks the aircraft in flight and deliver the power to the aircraft,
directing its energy beam at specially designed photovoltaic cells carried
onboard to power the plane’s propeller. In 2004, Ozdal Boyraz and Bahram Jalali
of the University of California demonstrated the Electronic switching in a
Raman laser. It is the first silicon Raman laser that works at room temperature
with 2.5-W peak output power. It can be directly modulated to transmit data
unlike traditional Raman lasers.
September 2006, first electrically powered hybrid silicon laser using standard
silicon manufacturing processes is built and announced by John Bowers and
colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Mario Paniccia,
director of Intel Corp.’s Photonics Technology Lab. This silicon laser could lower
the cost of normal laser. In August 2007, a new way to integrate optical and
electronic functions on a single chip is made by Bowers and his doctoral
student Brian Koch. They built first mode-locked silicon evanescent laser, that
enable new types of integrated circuits.
May 2009, University of Rochester, New York, Chunlei Guo, a research announces
a new process that uses femtosecond laser pulses to make regular incandescent
lightbulbs superefficient. The surface of the metal form nanostructures that
make the tungsten become far more effective at radiating light by using the
laser pulse trained on the bulb’s filament. Guo says that this process can make
a 100-W bulb use less electric than a 60-W bulb. Also in May 2009, The National
Ignition Facility (NIF), the
largest and highest-energy laser in the world, at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory is used. In June of 2009, NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance
Orbiter (LRO). It will use laser to obtain data for people to draw a 3-D maps.
The map could assist them to determine lunar ice locations and safe landing
sites for future spacecraft.
2009, Intel announced of its Light Peak optical fiber technology for lasers to
enter household PCs. Light Peak contains vertical-cavity surface-emitting
lasers (VCSELs) and can send and receive 10 billion bits of data per second. The
peak power of the laser light is about 500 times that used by the US at any
given time. In March 31, 2010, a single-atom laser with and without threshold
behavior is demonstrated by Rainer Blatt and Piet O. Schmidt and their team at
the University of Innsbruck in Austria by tuning the strength of atom/light