A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. By science fiction standards, they are ancient technology: the theoretical foundations were established by Albert Einstein in 1917, and the first working laser was built in 1960.
They have many everyday applications: in optical disk drives, laser printers, and barcode scanners; in fiber-optic and free-space optical communication; in laser surgery and skin treatments; in cutting and welding materials; and military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed. Laser lighting displays have become a popular form of entertainment.
The science fiction trope of the all-destroying laser beam, however, remains more fiction than science: while lasers can be used as weapons, their power lies in their precision, and they can be used to blind people – but not to wholesale blow them up. At least not as yet. Probably a good thing, too!
Still, lasers are sexy: I am usually rather a purist when it comes to booby chicks in scanty clothing, but who can resist a laser gun wielding blonde with a tattoo on her ass, riding a dinosaur? Not me.
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