Home » What Is Laser Technology & How Is It Used? 

What Is Laser Technology & How Is It Used? 

When you think about laser technology, you instantly start conjuring up images of sci-fi laser pistols and lightsabers. As cool as these things sound, that’s not really what laser technology is all about. We’ve actually been using lasers for a long time, so they’re not even the most advanced bit of tech in the modern world. So, what exactly is laser technology and how is it used?

What is a laser?

This actually stunned me when I looked it up, but the word laser is actually an acronym! It stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In simple terms, lasers are beams of intense light that are directed at things. As such, we have loads of different lasers out there, meaning a laser has numerous practical uses. 

Examples of laser technology

One of the most obvious examples of laser technology is laser eye surgery. Here, a laser is directed into your eyes to help reshape the front surface of the eye. In turn, this helps your eyes focus better, improving your eyesight

Pretty cool, right? Well, from laser eye surgery to something slightly more industrious. Lasers are commonly used in manufacturing processes to cut or engrave different objects. There are three main types of lasers used here: UV, fiber, and CO2 lasers. You can find out more here about how each of them works, but the idea is that the laser is fired at a surface and causes reactions with the object which means the laser can slice directly through it or create an engraving on it. 

We also see laser technology implemented in some regular household or office items – like printers. Some printers are inkjet printers, while others are laser printers. A laser printer will have lasers inside it that help get the ink onto the paper. It’s often said that laser printers are better printers because they are more accurate and can prevent ink smudges. 

Perhaps one of the earliest forms of laser technology comes from barcode scanners. You have a laser beam that’s directed at the barcode where it can measure the reflected light from the code, telling the device what the item is. 

As you can see, laser technology certainly has a lot of diverse uses. But, what future uses for lasers could we see? Is it likely that one day, we will see laser weapons in the military? Many countries have been experimenting with this for years, but it seems like such a wasteful way to utilize such a clever technology. 

Instead, the future of laser tech will definitely revolve around improving existing laser technologies to make them more useful. There is also some talk about lasers being used to help develop better communications technology, but we don’t know enough about that just yet. Unfortunately for any Star Wars fans, the chances of getting your own lightsaber are extremely slim right now. However, don’t let that detract from the fact that laser technology is incredibly interesting and one of the most diverse forms of technology we have in our world right now.