Monday, March 31, 2008

Interesting applications for ultrafast pulsed lasers:
Instead of emitting a continuous beam, a pulsed laser concentrates its energy into brief bursts. An ultra-fast laser produces fantastically short bursts in which the intensity and power of the pulses can reach mind-boggling levels. Because the pulses happen so quickly, the effects are concentrated in time. This gives ultra-fast lasers valuable properties that their slower predecessors do not have. They can, for instance, cut something out before the energy from the pulse gets a chance to heat up and possibly damage the surrounding area. This means ultra-fast lasers are better at such jobs as cutting and welding, eye surgery and creating some of the smallest man-made structures on the surface of semiconductors.
The article lists several uses in engineering, computers, and medicine.