Thursday, March 5, 2015
Celebrating the International Year of Light: Evolving Lasers to Solve Problems by Jeff Hecht 3.13.15/ 1:50-2:45pm/ UCF Student Union, Pegasus Ballroom
Celebrating the International Year of Light: Evolving Lasers to Solve Problems by Jeff Hecht
Friday, March 13, 2015 1:50 PM to 2:45 PM
UCF Student Union, Pegasus Ballroom
Science and technology writer
Soon after he helped Ted Mainam make the first laser, Irnee D’Haenens jokingly called the laser “a solution looking for a problem.” That became a running joke in early days of lasers, because the few lasers then available were not well-matched to many applications. But that changes as the young technology evolved. The more we learned about laser science, the better we could design lasers to match the needs of potential applications. Similarly, people could take these newly developed lasers and adapt them to solve other problems. A sterling example is the blue diode laser, developed to play HD Video disks, and then adapted to make bright blue LEDs that laid the foundation for solid-state lighting. Another is how the fiber amplifier, developed for fiber-optic communications, was adapted to make industrial fiber lasers. This talk will describe how lasers and their applications have evolved in the past and will continue to evolve in the future.
Jeff Hecht is a contributing editor for Laser Focus World, and has written extensively on lasers, photonics and fiber optics for more than 30 years. His books include Understanding Fiber Optics, Understanding Lasers, City of Light, The Story of Fiber Optics, Beam: The Race to Make the Laser, and The Laser Guidebook. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Caltech, and is a senior member of the Optical Society of America and a life member of IEEE.