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Saturday, May 3, 2014

This Day in Science History - May 2 - George Pimentel

May 2nd is George Pimentel's birthday. He was an American chemist who produced the first chemical laser. Chemical lasers rely on an exothermic reaction to pump the necessary energy to create the coherent light of a laser. They are some of the most powerful lasers in use today with outputs in the megawatt range. They are used as industrial cutting or drilling tools, research and military weapons. To give an idea of the power - energy per unit area - of these lasers, the laser in your DVD player, computer mouse, or laser pointer has a power rating in the milliwatt range or 1/1000th of a watt. A megawatt laser is 1,000,000,000 or 1 billion times more powerful.

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