Can a laser be any spectrum of light?

13 June 2010

Question

Can a laser be any spectrum of light?

Answer

We put this question to Dr Graeme Hirst, from the STFC's Central Laser Facility...

Graeme - These days they can, yes. The very first laser that was produced worked in the near infrared. It was really, really bright, so you could probably see it, but only just about. Gradually, as time went on, more and more lasers were developed with a wider range of available colours - a wider range of available wavelengths. And these days, the range is spectacular. Just last year, a group of scientists in America demonstrated a really high power laser that's actually working in the x-ray region.

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