A 7 page overview of laser technology. The author emphasizes the importance of light and details methodologies that are designed to account for light scattering. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
Name of Research Paper File: AM2_PPlaserM.rtf
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sizes and shapes and are used in applications as diverse as inventory control, eye surgery, and data writing. Laser development has spanned several decades and the result is an
assortment of machines and applications. The helium-neon gas laser is one of the most familiar of these machines. It is used in practically every supermarket to read bar
codes. This laser is a critical component of inventory control and even check out. Another astonishingly familiar laser is that found in a compact disc player or computer
CD-ROM drives. This laser is the semiconductor laser and has infiltrated many aspects of our lives. Optical disks are produced using laser technology to imprint data on the
surface of the disk. Lasers are much more efficient and accurate when it comes to disk space conservation than are the typical magnetic write-heads. Because the lasers can
write information closer together, more information can be recorded within a given surface area. Lasers are, of course, used in many more high-tech aspects of our lives than CD
ROMS but even in these applications the mechanisms of action are basically the same. That mechanism is dependent on one critical factor, in particular. That factor is light.
To understand the importance of light in laser technology we can look to yet another example of semiconductor lasers. This example is
found in fiber optic communications. In fiber optic technology information is transferred distances ranging from just few inches to over one-hundred and fifty miles (Yawn, 1995). Fiber optic
cable can transmit large amounts of information over one-hundred and fifty miles almost instantaneously (Yawn, 1995). Optical fibers transmit messages through coded flashes of light which are deciphered at