The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of the laser, one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. Lasers now touch almost every aspect of modern life, from health care to entertainment, from manufacturing to communications. A yearlong celebration called Laserfest (http://www.laserfest.org) has been launched by the American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, SPIE and IEEE Photonics Society. They have invited other organizations to showcase their own contributions to the development and applications of this groundbreaking technology.
A new web site highlights important contributions to laser science by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Researchers at NIST have helped turn lasers into tools that have redefined the measurement system, enabled the development of new technologies, enhanced understanding of science, and touched the lives of all Americans. Three NIST scientists have won Nobel Prizes for their work with lasers.
For more, see www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/laserfest_home.html.