- from Atoms
In some ways, laser light is like every other kind of light. It is the result of atoms’ electrons giving off light energy as they jump back toward the nucleus. In other ways, however, laser light is quite different.
Laser light is one specific color of light. The color is determined by the energy of the light. Lower-energy lasers are red; higher-energy lasers may be blue or violet. Some laser light is not visible to the human eye at all. In addition, laser light has a tight beam that is strong and concentrated. Ordinary light, like the light from a flashlight, is spread out and weak by comparison.
One rule, however, holds true for all lasers: Do not look right at a laser. Some give off a light brighter than the Sun’s. Others give off heat that can burn the skin and set clothes on fire. Most lasers are not playthings. Lasers are used in a variety of ways, from supermarket scanners to eye surgery. Some say lasers will change our lives as much as computers have.