Lasers Are Used in Eye Surgery for the First Time (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: The first significant clinical ophthalmic application of any laser system was the treatment of retinal tears with a pulsed ruby laser.
Summary of Event
The term “laser” is an acronym for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. Substances have the property to “laser,” that is, to absorb energy in one form (either thermal, mechanical, electrical or light—all ophthalmic lasers use light as the stimulating source) and to emit a new form of light energy that is more useful. The utility of laser light is caused by a number of its unique properties; particularly useful is the concentration or brightness of the light. In fact, a laser produces the brightest light source known to humans. The development of the laser for ophthalmic use arose from the initial concentration of conventional light by magnifying lenses.
A substance that has the ability to lase possesses the unique property of transferring electrons from one orbital to a second orbital of higher energy. The theory of Niels Bohr states that each orbital is spaced by a precise energy interval. When most electrons have been energized sufficiently by the stimulating source so that they are in an orbital of higher energy, they may jump suddenly at the same time to their original orbital of lower energy. This sudden jump to a lower-energy level causes the emission of a...
(The entire section is 1723 words.)
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