Lasers show up in an amazing range of products and technologies. You will find them in everything from CD players to dental drills to high-speed metal cutting machines to measuring systems. They all use lasers. But what is a laser? And what makes a laser beam different from the beam of a flashlight?

Photo courtesy NASA
The Optical Damage Threshold test station at NASA Langley Research Center has three lasers: a high-energy pulsed ND:Yag laser, a Ti:sapphire laser and an alignment HeNe laser.

In this article, you'll learn all about lasers so you can completely understand this fascinating technology!