How Lasers have Changed our World

A military scientist operates a laser in a tes...

A military scientist operates a laser in a test environment. The Directorate conducts research on a variety of solid-state and chemical lasers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s hard to understand on a lot of levels; however the laser is only slightly over 50 years old. In that short space of time laser technology in one form or another has transformed our world. From the incredibly important to the trivial, there are thousands of uses for laser and we’re going to take a look at some of the most common.

Medical

Laser technology has been used in the medical industry for decades now, however it’s truly found its calling in the last decade or so. Laser surgery is incredibly common in the cosmetics industry for example and is utilised for everything from mole to tattoo removal. Of course, it’s also used for more serious surgeries as well as for laser eye surgery – where it is used to burn away skin in front of the cornea to restore sight.

Construction

From surveying below the ground without having to dig, to monitoring buildings for subsidence and ensuring roads are straight, lasers are part and parcel of the construction industry. Most devices in this industry are relatively simple when compared to others here. However, as any civil engineer will profess, that the abundance of laser levels have made a significant difference in the way they do their job.

Space Exploration

From measuring the exact distance of planets in the solar system, to taking a map of a lunar landscape, laser has been utilised in the area of space exploration for decades now to a very notable degree. It’s a very important part of space exploration.

Military

The world of the military is another where laser technology has been utilised to notable effect. From tests of laser rays for destructive purposes, to its use in firearms for accuracy, laser technology has been used by the military to a very notable degree. In fact, its crossover with our previous point can be clearly seen when the USA’s Star Wars programme of the 1980s is recollected.

Retail

An often overlooked and everyday use for lasers is in the retail spectrum. Yes, the bard codes that we use day in day out in shops are simple lasers programmed to read information from a bar code. It’s not the most glamorous use of the technology, however it’s one that we all utilise every day, though is still at its roots quite impressive.

Laser technology is an amazing addition and something we can be truly proud of as human beings for a number of reasons.

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