Applications of Lasers

Description of Application of Lasers:

There are widespread applications of lasers in various disciplines such as medicine, industries, astronomy, communication, chemistry, etc. Some of the laser applications are given below in short:

1.) Lasers in Medicine: Some of the applications of lasers in medical care such as in:
  • Controlling haemorrhage.
  • Treatment of the liver and lungs and for the elimination of moles and tumours developing on the skin tissues.
  • Therapy and stomatology.
  • Microsurgery for virtually painless treatment.
  • Ophthalmology to reattach a detached retina.
  • Penetration of blood vessels in the eye for treating glaucoma.
  • Treatment of cancer.
  • Dentistry etc.

2.) Lasers in Industries: Some of the industrial applications of lasers are as follows:
  • Testing the quality of optical components such as lenses, prism, gratings etc.
  • More accurate measurement of the sizes of physical quantities, precision length measurement.
  • Gelling of extremely fine holes in various substances, such as in paper clips, teeth, diamonds, human hair, etc.
  • Cutting of different types of hard materials.
  • Technical motion picture photography.
  • Detection of fingerprints.
  • High-power laser eyes are useful in welding small metal points, such as in the field of electronics and microelectronics thermocouple welding to a substrate etc.
  • Used in vaporizing materials for subsequent deposition on a substrate.
  • Rock-crushing and boring tunnels.

3.) Lasers in astronomy: Lasers are useful in radio telescopes to exchange and extend their range of observation and in amplification of very faint radio signals from space. The application of lasers is to record the bursts of light and radiation waves from stars etc.

4.) Atmospheric Optics: Lasers are used for remote probing of the atmosphere including, the measurement of traces of pollutant gases, temperature, water, vapour concentration etc. Laser radar provides the distribution of atmospheric pollutants in different vertical sections.

5.) Lasers in Biology: Lasers are useful in micro Raman spectroscopic analysis for biological and biomedical samples available only in very small quantities. Argon-ion Laser is used to obtain scattering spectra of a wide range of biological materials.

6.) Laser in Ranging: Lasers are used in finding the accurate position of a distant object and also make it possible to determine the size and shape of your object and its orientation. Lasers are useful in the measurement of the velocity of moving objects. Laser fluouresensors are used to monitor remote environments.

7.) Lasers in Communication: Lasers are very useful in transmitting a large volume of signals over long distances. The communication capacity of typical light is about 106 greater than that of typical microwaves. Due to the fact that optical frequencies are extremely large as compared to conventional radio waves and microwaves, a light beam acting as a carrier wave can carry more information in comparison to radio waves and microwaves. Lasers are thus more efficient in long-distance communication. Due to the coherence and monochromaticity of laser beams, these are used in signal modulation. Glass fibres are used for the transmission of light waves employing the principle of total internal reflection. Laser is useful in communication with Earth satellites, in rocketry, etc.

8.) Lasers in Chemistry: Lasers are used in chemistry in different ways such as in:
  • Isotope separation for the enrichment of Uranium reactor fuel.
  • The study of the nature of chemical bonds.
  • Trace analysis of gases.
  • Detection of the small number of atoms produced by the interaction of low-energy solar neutrinos.
  • Microelectronic designing and fabrication.
  • Triggering chemical and photochemical reactions
  • Information regarding the presence of a trace of metals in various tissues etc.
  • Thermo nuclear fusion reactor.

9.) Lasers in spatial frequency filtering: lasers are used in:
  • Contrast enhancement of the image.
  • Detecting random error in a periodic structure.
  • Character recognition problems are used to identify certain objects of interest in optical images of forests in military defence.
  • Removing the dot patterns of the images.

10.) Lasers in Holography: Although the principle of holography was laid down by Gabor in 1948, but holography gained practical importance after the development of the laser in 1960. Due to high monochromaticity and spatial coherence properties lasers are used in holography. Holography is a method of recording information from a three-dimensional object in such a way that a three-dimensional image may subsequently be reconstructed. In holography, the photographic plate for holograms is illuminated by two laser beams simultaneously, one carrier beam and the other object beam. The hologram contains the detail of both the amplitude and phase of light received from different parts of the three-dimensional object. The holographic technique using a laser beam can be used for the examination of complicated shapes with diffusely reflecting surfaces which is not possible when ordinary light sources are used. The computer memories using laser as a source have very high storage capacity (~1010 bits/mm3) with rapid access and are easy to align and less subject to problems of vibration than other optical memories. A holographic memory records and reads out a large number of bits simultaneously.

11.) Lasers in the Military: Lasers are useful in various military applications such as:
  • Range finders, forget accurate information about the range to improve the first hit probability.
  • Beam rider, for the guidance of weapons by making the weapon remain within the beams, All the way to get the target.
  • The simulator assimilates lasers and simulates all aspects of the firing situation to ensure that the enemy is destroyed.
  • In communication with submarines or satellites.
  • Used in cruise missiles towards the high value- targets such as ships, command bunkers, bridges dams etc.