Typical laser array
The precursor to the laser actually involved manipulating microwave frequencies. This work occurred in the early 50’s and it wasn’t until the late 50’s (1957) that researchers at Bell Laboratories were able to amplify visible light into a focused beam of energy. Originally, the laser was termed “optic maser” but later was abandoned for the more pertinent name “laser” which is actually an acronym that stands for:
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Today, lasers have dozens of applications including everything from medical use to military weapons.