Laserfest says thank you in Times Square
When the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, 2010, it stood for more than the closing of a decade. It marked the end of Laserfest (www.laserfest.org), celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser. Over the past 50 years the laser went from being a practically unknown invention with little purpose to being one of the most widely recognized and multipurpose inventions of the last generation. Imagine life before the laser pointer, Lasik surgery, and CDs and DVDs. These are only a few of the inventions for which the laser is responsible. The American Physical Society (APS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), IEEE Photonics Society and SPIE helped make the 50th anniversary of the laser memorable through Physics on the Road Grants, outreach efforts and the website, www.laserfest.com. Even though Laserfest has ended, the legacy of the laser continues.