Of Lasers, Light and Life

15 May 2019

An exhibition devoted to the history – and the future – of laser technologies, assembled under the auspices of the Faculty of Physics at LMU opens this week in Garching.

The exhibition charts the rise of laser-based technologies in the 20th century and their increasing impact on the 21st. It was conceived and realized by a team at the Faculty of Physics under the direction of Professor Ferenc Krausz.

Under the title “Lasers. Light. Life.”, the show traces the story of the laser from its forebears in utopian literature and science fiction to its current role as the basis of today’s high-tech photonics. Visitors to the exhibition therefore have the opportunity to learn about the history and applications of laser technologies. Among the exhibits is the first working laser, which was built by the American physicist Theodore H. Maiman in 1960. The exhibition then chronicles the progress made in laser physics since then, and demonstrates how the laser has become an indispensable tool in a diverse range of fields extending from medicine to communications. Many of the exhibits are designed as hands-on experiments, which invite visitors to explore central aspects of the laser’s function and applications – such as photographing the motions of electrons using ultrashort pulses of laser light.

The exhibition opens on January 9, 2019 at the ESO Supernova in Garching.

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