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Chemistry LibreTexts


  • Supermarket barcode readers, CD and DVD players, and laser pointers used in presentations are examples of commonly encountered devices that rely on lasers.
  • Lasers are essential for signal transmission in modern telecommunications, including telephone, ethernet and digital TV.
  • Early applications of lasers were in medicine. The ability to direct a narrow, bright and focusable beam of light to specific regions in tissue and bone has led to advances in, for example, dental and surgical procedures, vision correction (e.g., LASIK surgery), dermatological treatments and disease diagnosis.
  • High power lasers are employed in applications that include welding, drilling, cutting, and surface modification through machining and promotion of phase transitions and chemical reactions.
  • Lasers are used widely in scientific research. In addition, laser systems are under study to increase the wavelengths accessible and provide greater power and compactness. Experiments with lasers push the limits of the time and spatial dimensions probed.