Laser... Its Types & Applications

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Laser... Its Types & Applications

Laser is on of the most important scientific discoveries in 20th century with so many exciting applications. The basic concepts of laser were first given by an American scientist, Charles Hard Townes and two Soviet scientists, Alexander Mikhailovich Prokhorov and Nikolai Gennediyevich Basov who shared the coveted Nobel Prize (1964). But, TH Maiman of the Hughes Research Laboratory, California, was the first scientist who experimentally demonstrated laser by flashing light through a ruby crystal, in 1960.

Laser has a unique property which is not found in the normal sources of light such as mercury lamps and tungsten lamps, this property is that its light waves can travel very long distances with e very little divergence but the normal light sources cannot so, it is a powerful source of light. Laser is also having other extraordinary characteristics which make it to be such a best source of light and also make it an important tool in a lot of applications. In this article we will know more about the laser, its types and its properties.

Laser Types

1.    Optically Pumped Solid-State Lasers, which is sub-divided into:
-        Ruby Laser.
-        Rare Earth Ion Lasers.
-        Nd: YAG Lasers.
-        Nd: Glass Lasers.
-        Tunable Solid-State lasers.
-        Liquid (Dye) lasers.
-        Gas Lasers.
-        Helium-Neon Laser.
-        Argon and Krypton Ion Lasers Carbon Dioxide Laser.
-        Excimer Laser.
-        Semiconductor lasers.
-        Free-Electron Lasers.
-        X-Ray Lasers.

2.    Chemical Lasers
These types of lasers depend on the reaction of two or more chemicals, the energy released in this chemical reaction produces a high energy beam. Gamma rays, electrons and photons can be used as initiators in Such chemical reactions. Flames can also be used as a source of excitation to Initiate teaser action. Explosive gas mixture may also be used to excite laser radiation in the gas itself.

Laser Application
The unique characteristics of laser made it an important tool in various applications. The first application of laser was in the experiment of Apollo II Mission of 1969, to calculate the distance of the moon from the earth by using the pulses from a ruby laser which were sent from the earth and reflected by the reflectors which mounted on the moon surface.

In this time, 21st century, we can find every day new applications of lasers which are applied in various fields such as communication, Industry, engineering, medicine, surgery, military operations, photography, scientific research, etc.

ü military operations
-        Laser Range Finder.
-        Underwater Laser.
-        Laser-Guided Anti-Tank Missile (ATM).
-        Laser Radar (Lidar).
-        Ring Laser Gyroscope.
-        Air Reconnaissance.
-        Communications.
-        Anti-Missile Defense System (Star Wars).
-        Laser Proximity Fuze.
-        Laser Beacon.
-        Weapon Firing Simulator.

ü Civil Applications of Lasers
-        Laser Drilling.
-        Laser Micromachining.
-        Laser Cutting.
-        Laser Hardening.
-        Metrology.
-        Laser for Surveying.
-        Civil Engineering.
-        Optical Fibre Communication.
-        Data Storage.

ü Medical Applications of Lasers
-        Eye surgery.
-        The treatment of many different types of cancer.
-        The treatment of bleeding ulcers.
-        Dental treatment.

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