Laser Focus 5 | May 2020


Five stories about the world of lasers, technology and innovation that is helping to push the boundaries of possibility.



The Big 60!


In May of 1960, Ted Maiman fired the first laser, a low powered ruby laser that was dubbed "a solution looking for a problem." Today the laser is a critical part of our everyday lives. Whether it is powering the global internet, manufacturing our computer chips and smartphones, scanning our groceries, or enabling the technologies of the future, it is safe to say that the laser is no longer looking for a problem.

On May 16, 2020, SPIE will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Maiman's monumental accomplishment in conjunction with the International Day of Light.  Get resources and articles for your celebration here.

US Space Program Milestone Leads to One of the Longest Laser Experiments in History


[Image credits Goddard's Laser Ranging Facility in Greenbelt, Md., Courtesy of Tom Zagwodzki/Goddard Space Flight Center]

Do you ever wonder how we know the distance between the Earth and the moon?  Well, you are about to find out.  So the next time you are out moon gazing with friends or family, you can drop them some knowledge. 

"July 20, 1969, a historic day for the Apollo space program, was also the start of a laser experiment that is still going strong more than 50 years later. The ongoing lunar laser ranging experiment, also known as the Apollo reflector experiment, measures the distance between the moon and Earth using laser ranging. Laser light pulses are transmitted and reflected back to Earth, and the round-trip duration is measured."

Read full article

 The History of Lasers: BAM


[Source photo:]

The site takes you through an interactive journey on how, when, and why of lasers development.   It also explains what lasers do, but since most of you are super smart laser professionals, you already know the power of the photon.  The site includes interesting audio narrations from world-leading physicists recalling their memories of the laser. Visit website


A Sweat Sensing Patch Aimed at Athletes Takes on COVID-19


The wearable sweat sensor that Epicore Biosystems has been developing for the consumer fitness market with Gatorade is now looking at helping in response to COVID-19. 

The sweet monitoring technology could deliver critical information to Physicians on the health of the patient.  And here is a potential breakthrough technology for our front line heroes.  Incorporating the sensor into N95 respirators could help track the health of our medical professionals. Read full article

Get Fancy Zoom Backgrounds For Your Next Call with the Photonics Scientist


[Image source:]

SPIE International Day of Light Social Media Graphics

Okay, perhaps not on the same innovation level of the ongoing lunar laser ranging experiment, but gets some high points for creativity and adding a little extra light energy to not only your Zoom call but your other social media accounts.  The backgrounds feature photography from the 2019 SPIE International Day of Light  Photo Contest. Get graphics here



MKS Marketing Communication Team.