The First Laser Beam

Satellite dish in evening sky with moon

As you look at the stars tonight and how the moon shines back at you.

On May 9th 1962, a laser beam was successfully bounced off Moon for the first time. By a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology using a laser with a millisecond pulse length, in observing laser pulses reflected from moon’s surface back to earth.

Similar measurements were obtained later the same year by a Soviet team at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory using a Q-switched ruby laser.

I’m not a science geek, and the closest thing I’ve heard about laser beams is from watching the televisions series Star Trek.

When Captain Kirk gave the order of putting their phasers on stun, but what is a laser beam anyway?

What I can gather reading up on this, a laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.

The term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”.

Lasers play a pivotal role in our everyday lives, too. In fact they show up in an amazing range of products and technologies. You’ll find them in everything from CD players to dental drills to high-speed metal cutting machines to measuring systems. Tattoo removal, hair replacement, eye surgery.

What makes a laser beam different from the beam of a flashlight is mostly by how the laser is classified when being used.

In lieu of today’s story, when the laser bounced off the moon it gave scientist an open view in what the moon matter was made of.

The important lesson in today’s story is, we don’t learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on what was already done!

As the bright moon shines in our sky, it can heighten are emotions in various ways, as we ask ourselves that important question, as if William Shakespeare was alive to celebrate this historical event with us, “To beam, or what not to beam?”

Written and Designed by JD Mitchell

J.D Mitchell Design Studio


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