A new website for LaserFest, the 2010 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser, has recently been launched. The site, Laserfest, contains information concerning LaserFest events and activities, the history of the laser and its impact on society, and its potential for the future.
Visitors to the site can sign up to receive updates and program announcements. Those with plans or ideas for events are encouraged to submit them through the online event submission form. LaserFest is being organized by APS and the Optical Society of America.
“Now that the website is up and running, we hope LaserFest will become more accessible–hopefully visitors will find the site engaging and informative,” said Nadia Ramlagan, APS LaserFest project coordinator.
The site’s laser history section provides information about the early history of the laser, from Einstein’s theory of stimulated emission to the demonstration of the first working laser by Theodore Maiman in 1960. Visitors can also browse a timeline of the milestones that paved the way for the experimental realization of the laser. Specific contributions from key scientists whose work led to the invention of the laser is available, including Robert H. Dicke, Gordon Gould, Charles Townes, and Arthur Schawlow, as well as a list of Nobel laureates whose prize-winning research involved lasers.
The website also includes instructions for individuals or corporations interested in being involved in LaserFest. All sponsors will be offered appropriate recognition on the website and in other LaserFest promotion materials, and donations to LaserFest are tax deductible.
New material is continually being added. Visitors will soon be able to explore how the laser works and how laser light differs from regular light. Other upcoming sections include “Women in Laser Science” and “50 Laser Innovations,” podcasts, and interactive games. Eventually, the site will show a calendar of national and local events, listing LaserFest activities happening in the Washington DC area and communities around the US and the world. As events get underway next year, a LaserFest blog will document ongoing events with weekly entries and photos.