Ruby Laser System - History of Ruby Laser System
Lasers, although mainly known for their entertainment purposes in laser shows and in handheld laser pointer devices, are also used in numerous other modern technologies. Today lasers are responsible for improved telecommunication systems, which can use lasers to transmit signals, improved surgery techniques, and other convenience technologies like DVDs, credit card security and supermarket scanners.
The idea for the first laser came about in 1958, when scientists Charles Towns, Arthur Schawow and Gordon Gould proposed the theoretical idea of controlled infrared rays. They predicted that one would need an extended tube, filled with mirrors, in order to allow for the light to grow stronger before extending out the device. So, they had the idea, but now they needed to actually build the first laser.
However the road to build the laser was filled with six teams, each racing to be the first to accomplish this feat. After numerous failed attempts by the other laboratories, Theodore Maiman at Hughes Laboratories was the winner and by May 16th, 1960 the first Ruby Laser System had been created and tested.
The Ruby laser system works by wrapping a high-intensity lamp around a thin, cylindrical ruby crystal. When the light is triggered, this excites the molecules of the Ruby crystal, which then can be emitted from the crystal as red light. This light then reflects off of mirrors encircling the crystal, therefore exciting more molecules and increasing the intensity of the laser light, which is finally emitted from the laser system.
Although certain advancements have been made to this original laser system to produce more complex and diverse laser types, the ruby laser system is still in use in medical and cosmetic procedures today. Withstanding the changes procured over the decades, the ruby laser system still remains an extremely common device for laser light.