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New laser applications


By
Altynay Kaidarova

December 19, 2016 - Posted in Discussion
​Since 1960 lasers have driven scientific innovation into a facet of modern life. Many scientific, military, medical and commercial laser applications were developed since then. The question is whether the laser is going to continue to drive such advances in the future.
 
According to Professor Tom Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, new applications are being patented at a phenomenal rate[1] The total number of laser patents issued since 1960 is around 50000, which is the third place after engines and computers [1].
 
The interaction between engineers who understand oscillators and scientists who understand quantum mechanics will result in the innovative realization of those laser applications. Some have already achieved dramatic breakthroughs in finding new uses for existing laser technology.
 
- A company called “NoNeedles Venipuncture” has found a way to replace needles by using lasers for blood collection.  Lasers fire for quadrillionth of a second to open a tiny hole into the veins.   Wounds close by laser without pain, contamination and infection
- Students at MIT have found ways to use laser scanners to save faulty 3D print jobs and avoid waste of materials. By comparing the failed job and original model, a new 3D print job would pick up from where it left off.
- Researchers of Maryland turn air into optic fiber cable. They used high power laser to create a dense string of air molecules surrounded by lower density column of air. Another laser could follow this pathway without intensity loss.
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories have used lasers to recreate conditions in Jupiter core. Synthetic diamonds were aimed by 176 high-powered lasers. Lasers created intense pressure waves that vaporization of diamonds happened in 10 billions of a second.
There has been great progress in new applications of lasers in the last ten years, and it will only continue to proliferate.
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[1] Online: http://laserfest.org/lasers/future.cfm
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