Photos: Forty years of lasers at Coherent

Photos: Forty years of lasers at Coherent

Summary: John Ambroseo, CEO of the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in photonics, gives CNET News.com a behind-the-scenes look at lasers.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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  • Fingerprints are detected because of bioluminescence

    The fingerprints are detected because of bioluminescence, said Ambroseo. The chemistry of the fingerprint or biological sample essentially emits weak light. Several police agencies have bought the device, which runs on standard notebook batteries. It has also been featured on the TV show "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

  • "Optically pumped" lasers

    Red, green and blue optically pumped lasers pointing to one another. Traditionally, to generate laser light in an industrial laser, argon gas is excited. Because the photons emitted from the excited atoms are identical in their phase and amplitude, a strong beam of light (rather than scattered luminescence) is generated.

    Researchers at MIT came up with optically pumped semiconductor lasers, a way to amplify laser light with a semiconductor and a series of lenses. As a result, the cost and power consumption of lasers has declined, opening up the market. Coherent started getting into optically pumped semiconductor lasers in 2001 and now expects them to generate a significant part of the company's roughly $500 million in annual revenue.

  • Red, green and blue lasers

    The red (635 nanometer), green (532 nanometer) and blue (488 nanometer) lasers all have different wavelengths and thus get used for different tasks. The lasers in this class sell for between $2,495 and $11,995.

Topic: Hardware

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