The history of the creation of lasers and analysis of the impact of their application in the material processing on the development of certain industries

Keywords: laser, history of lasers, Theodore Maiman, National Museum of American History, laser market, laser applications


The paper is devoted to the analysis of the history of the creation of the laser as one of the greatest technical inventions of the 20th century. This paper focuses on establishing a relation between the periodization of the stages of creation and implementation of certain types of lasers, with their influence on the invention of certain types of equipment and industrial technologies for processing the materials, the development of certain branches of the economy, and scientific-technological progress as a whole. In preparing the paper, the generally accepted methods, which are widely used in the preparation of historical research works, have been applied: the historical method – for the study and interpretation of the texts of primary sources and the search for other evidence used for research, as well as for the presentation of historical events associated with the development of laser technology; the historical-genetic method – for studying the genesis of specific historical phenomena and analyzing the causality of changes in the development of laser technology; the historical-critical method – for displaying cause-and-effect relationships, reconstructing events that influenced the development of laser technology; the method of historical periodization. The variety of different possible options for the use of lasers did not allow placing all the collected materials within the framework of one paper, and therefore, the authors have decided to dwell on the facts, which, in the opinion of the paper’s authors, are the most interesting, significant, poorly studied, and little known. The paper discusses the stages of: invention of the first laser; creation of the first commercial lasers; development of the first applications of lasers in industrial technologies for processing the materials. Special attention is paid to the “patent wars” that accompanied different stages of the creation of lasers. A comparative analysis of the market development for laser technology from the stage of creation to the present has been carried out. It has been shown that the modern market for laser technology continues to develop actively, as evidenced by the continued stable growth of laser sales over the past 10 years. This indicates that the demand for laser technology is inextricably linked with the development of high technology production and scientific-technological progress. The analysis has shown that recently, the trends in the use of laser technology have changed; in particular, their industrial and medical applications are decreasing, while there is an increase in their use in the fields of sensor production and communication.


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How to Cite
Bernatskyi, A., & Khaskin, V. (2021). The history of the creation of lasers and analysis of the impact of their application in the material processing on the development of certain industries. History of Science and Technology, 11(1), 125-149.