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SPIE Pays Tribute to the Laser
November 4, 2009

SPIE is paying tribute to the laser and the individuals and labs advancing the technology, in celebration of the 50th anniversary in 2010 of the invention of the first laser. SPIE events in Europe and North America throughout 2010 will feature special events and presentations, panel discussions, displays, student and educator programs, and recognition programs.

The successful operation of Theodore Maiman’s ruby laser on May 16th, 1960 marked the move of the technology into the realm of industry. In the ensuing years, the laser has become an essential tool in a plethora of applications including manufacturing, energy, medicine, communications, research, and more.

The Advancing the Laser tribute showcases ongoing development of the technology through extensive free-access technical and feature articles and video interviews with research and industry leaders. Links are posted on SPIE Advancing the Laser, with new content added regularly.

A major celebration will be held at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco in January, with a Cirque du Lasaire reception, a display of 50 years of laser equipment, a multimedia tribute to laser legends and technology leaders, the LASE best student paper and multimedia contest, an industry panel, featured talks, and other activities.

SPIE also is participating in the science community collaboration LaserFest as a Founding Partner and Sponsor along with OSA (The Optical Society) and the American Physical Society (APS). LaserFest will honor the pioneers responsible for the discovery, development and application of the laser, as well as inform students, educators, legislators, funding agencies, and the general public about the impact of the laser and the importance of scientific and technological innovation.

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