Skip to Main Content
As for applications, Tom Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, says that "well over 50,000" laser patents have been issued since its invention, "placing it in good company with other innovations such as the computer, the LCD, and fibre optics". Asked which applications of the laser he considered the most important or interesting, Townes says: "I'm most pleased with the medical applications, [but] for my own purposes, the scientific applications have been most important. I presently use them for astronomy." And what of his feelings for that ubiquitous lecturing tool? "Yes, I like using a laser pointer".