The Laser at 50: Advancing Science through Beams of Coherent Light
May 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the first working laser, invented at Hughes Research Laboratories in 1960. We take a look at the past, present and potential future of this groundbreaking technology
Lasers Demonstrate the Power to Heal Without Scarring
Green laser light can trigger collagen fibers to link up in nerves and other damaged tissue
Laser Trapping of Neutral Particles
Lasers can be used to trap and manipulate electrically neutral particles. These techniques have allowed scientists to cool vapors to near absolute zero, develop new atomic clocks, and stretch single molecules of DNA...
Ray Guns Near Crossroads to the Battlefield [Slide Show]
The Pentagon ramps up efforts to field directed-energy beam weapons for land, air and sea
Key Moments in the Laser's First Half Century
Former Hughes Aircraft Company researchers Daniel Nieuwsma and Bob Byren recall the birth of the laser and the past three decades they have spent taking the technology in new directions
Will a Bendable Laser Scalpel Make the Cut?
Flexible optical fibers would provide access to hard-to-reach areas of the body
Rulers of Light: Using Lasers to Measure Distance and Time
A revolutionary kind of laser light called an optical frequency comb makes possible a more precise type of atomic clock and many other applications
Green Lasers: The Next Innovation in Chip-Based Beams
Semiconductors can generate laser light in all colors except one. But new techniques for growing laser diodes could soon make brilliant full-spectrum displays a reality
World's largest laser completed: Nuclear fusion, Death Star battle stations next?
Rain-making lasers could trigger showers on demand
Lasers that stimulate condensation may help to induce rain artificially.
High-Intensity Lasers Throw Scientists a Curve
Researchers defy the laws of physics by making a laser beam bend
Laser-etched metal makes liquid flow uphill
Researchers have devised a way to make liquid flow against gravity through capillary action by etching tiny channels into the surface of a metal plate with a high-intensity laser.
Are laser-powered spacecraft just a shot in the dark?
A Cut above: Ultrapowerful Laser Offers Greater Precision Sans Heat Damage [Slide Show]
New ultrashort-pulse laser delivers enough power to vaporize more viruses without harming healthy cells
U.S. Homeland Security seeks to arm commercial airliners with antimissile lasers
Space Wars - Coming to the Sky Near You?
A recent shift in U.S. military strategy and provocative actions by china threaten to ignite a new arms race in space. But would placing weapons in space be in anyone's national interest?...
Long-Lost Lunar Soviet Laser Reflector Found
A still-useful laser reflector, Lunokhod 1, left on the moon in 1970 and missing since 1971 has finally been spotted by researchers at the U.C. San Diego, working with NASA images. Cynthia Graber reports...
Lasers Let Lightning Loose
Researchers have used powerful lasers to induce lightning in thunderclouds. Cynthia Graber reports.
Deconstructing Art to Save It: Laser Analysis Tested to Restore Paintings
New exhibit shows how technology helps to study and restore artwork
Brighter Prospects for Cheap Lasers in Rainbow Colors
Red bar-code and DVD lasers may get multicolored company thanks to new ultramicroscopic crystals
Microlasers go deeper into the infrared to boost optical networking
Working Knowledge on Laser Printers
Laser Locates Molecule's Poles
Scientists Spin Microscopic Particles with Laser Beams
What Really Happens During Laser Surgery
Lasers and living tissue actually work together to make laser incisions work exceptionally effectively. Chelsea Wald reports.