Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. This phenomenon is brought about using devices that transform light of varying frequencies into a single intense, nearly nondivergent beam of monochromatic radiation in the visible region. Lasers operate in the visible, infrared, or ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. They are capable of producing immense heat and power when focused at close range and are used in surgical procedures, in diagnosis, and in physiologic studies.
(12 Dec 1998)
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