A LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories, based on theoretical work by Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow. A laser differs from other sources of light in that it emits light coherently. Spatial coherence allows a laser to be focused to a tight spot, enabling applications such as laser cutting and lithography. Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers. Lasers can also have high temporal coherence, which allows them to emit light with a very narrow spectrum, i.e., they can emit a single color of light. Temporal coherence can be used to produce pulses of light as short as a femtosecond.

Among their many applications, lasers are used in optical disk drives, laser printers, and barcode scanners; fiber-optic and free-space optical communication; laser surgery and skin treatments; cutting and welding materials; military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed; and laser lighting displays in entertainment.

Laser in WorldwarEdit

The skelkwank light was a technology which Tosevites first discovered in machines captured from the Race during the Race Invasion of Tosev 3 in the 1940s. With the help of Race POWs, they determined its workings and applications as best they could. Originally used for military purposes, skelkwank light also had uses in the fields of medicine and entertainment. By the close of the 20th century, skelkwank-based musical recording devices had completely replaced the old-fashioned phonograph.

The word skelkwank was of necessity borrowed from the Race's language, as no Tosevite tongue had a word to describe this alien technology. A ftaskelkwank was a device which emitted skelkwank light. The prefix fta- is roughly equivalent to the English suffix "-er".

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