What’s New?

Editorial – Fall 2017 / Winter 2018, Laser Applications International

Welcome to another issue of Laser Applications International, LAI.

“What’s new?” has become such a common expression that we often use it even as a casual greeting, not really expecting a detailed answer. However, when we turn to the subject of lasers, it is likely that there may well be a useful reply!

Even though the history of man-made lasers will soon span 65 years, and that we might therefore think the field is mature, there continues to be innovation after innovation, both in lasers themselves and in their applications. As a result, the annual Advanced Laser Applications Conference (ALAC) is always such an exciting event. No matter what your particular niche in the laser world may be, you learn so much from seeing what others are doing that you inevitably bring back something of value to your own activity.

ALAC 2018 is being held at VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College,  Livonia, Michigan from May 23-24 visit www.gamcinc.org for details.

We have moved a long way from where, in the 1960s, the laser was simply a convenient source for localized heating to where it has become a precision tool. We have moved from a relatively crude use of laser power to highly sophisticated matching of tool and application.

No-one would seriously consider the laser to be the ideal tool for every job but we continue to be intrigued by the ever-increasing range of applications where it may be not only an excellent tool but sometimes the only way to effect the result we want. It has revolutionized major industries, from marking to medicine and made use of power levels from milliwatts to megawatts.

Today we have a remarkable ability to choose the laser parameters we desire, such as wavelength, power, pulse shape and duration, beam shape and so on, to accomplish the application we desire with optimal efficiency. Further, we have learned how to team the laser with other energy sources if need be to improve processes yet further. You will find good examples of such uses at this year’s ALAC 2018. And whatever the answer to “What’s new?” is at this year’s ALAC, you can be sure that ALAC 2018 will add more. Keep in touch!

Dr. M. Nasim Uddin