Lasers' Promising Future

Archive Report

Development and Uses

Steady Growth of Worldwide Laser Market

When the laser was introduced in 1960, skeptics described it as “a solution in search of a problem.” It was clear that the device was capable of producing concentrated light beams of unprecedented intensity, purity and precision. But unlike most scientific inventions, the laser was conceived without specific applications in mind.

In just 23 years, however, the imaginations of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs have proved the skeptics wrong. The worldwide laser market grew to nearly $1.4 billion in annual sales in 1982, 11 percent higher than 1981, according to a survey conducted by the publishers of Laser Report newsletter.1 Manufacturers use lasers as drills, cutting tools and welding torches. To the surgeon, the laser is both scalpel and ...

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