Web edition: November 29, 2012
Print edition: December 15, 2012; Vol.182 #12 (p. 4)
NEW LASER USES LIQUID — A new way of producing the very intense light beam of lasers, which are promising for use in space and earth communications, was reported to the American Physical Society in New York. Organic liquid lasers give off light at wavelengths not previously available and are predicted to become important in the fundamental understanding of matter. The new kind of laser, or optical maser, operates on a principle never used before — stimulated “Raman” scattering. Although the Raman effect is well known to physicists it has not been involved in laser action. In the ordinary Raman effect, light is scattered from molecules. The outgoing, or scattered, light has different energy and wavelength than the incoming light, the energy difference having been converted to molecular vibrations.