what are lasers used for?
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New for Summer 2014: Myself and a few others provided laser & holography content for this Optical Society of America educational video on light and optics.

What Are Lasers Used For?



Holography Studio Guide

Student Study Guide:
Lasers, Holograms & Photonics

Lasers, Holograms & Photonics Lasers, Holograms & Photonics Lasers, Holograms and Phototonics (download)
Here is an 18-page study guide (PDF format) and homework helper that will give students a good foundation with lasers, holograms and the field of optics / photonics. It provides definitions, a timeline of events, biographies of inventors, along with current and future applications. The future is made of LIGHT, and those who are able to understand and work with light will pave the way for the photonics-based, free space laser communication technologies superhighway. You will need the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader for this file.


Hello. My name is Frank DeFreitas and I saw my first laser beam in 1968 (I was in the 8th grade). If you'd like to learn about how lasers are used today, you've come to the right web page! Since there is plenty of information elsewhere on the history of the laser and how they work, I will not duplicate that info. here on this page.

So, let's get right to the l-o-n-g list of what lasers are used for. You have my permission to print out this list for reports and homework.

If you're an educator, you may wish to assign several of the listed uses to students, and have them report on how lasers are used with them.

Note: I'm certain that this list is not complete, and it will always continue to grow. If you know of yet another use of lasers (to add to the list), please contact me and I'll make sure it gets posted in a future update.

What Lasers are Used For:

  • Repairing detached retinas

  • Reading product codes on groceries

  • Recording and playing CDs & DVDs

  • Cutting fabric for clothes

  • Drilling holes in metal

  • Inspecting bottles

  • Transmitting telephone calls and data

  • Surveying roads

  • Sounding the atmosphere

  • Dazzling concertgoers

  • Annealing microcircuits

  • Welding metal

  • Characterizing surface roughness

  • Measuring air pollution

  • Fingerprinting diamonds

  • Defining the meter

  • Slowing atomic beams

  • Printing computer data

  • Measuring the earth-moon distance

  • Cutting airplane parts

  • Transmitting news wirephotos

  • Aligning precision machinery

  • Making Holograms

  • Controlling tunnel machinery

  • Configuring massive telescopes

  • Designating military targets

  • Diagnosing flames

  • Leveling land

  • Controlling inventory

  • Analyzing compounds

  • Finding impurities

  • Aligning sawmill cuts

  • Monitoring polar ice caps

  • Measuring airplane velocity

  • Cleaning teeth

  • Looking for gravitational radiation

  • Installing acoustical ceilings

  • Read / write data storage

  • Identifying molecules

  • Aiding robotic vision

  • Inspecting tires

  • Positioning medical patients

  • Probing genetic material

  • Inspecting textiles

  • Removing birthmarks

  • Illuminating fluid flow

  • Communicating underwater

  • Enlarging color photographs

  • Teaching optics

  • Identifying viruses

  • Creating laser light art

  • Sensing rotation

  • Performing microsurgery

  • Erasing ink

  • Powering optical computers

  • Trimming resistors

  • Altering interconnects

  • Analyzing materials

  • Cleaning diamonds

  • Analyzing auto exhaust


  • Laser Communication Technology

    Emerging Technologies
    & The Great Commission

    My Christian-based Work
    with Lasers and Holograms

    Objectives: (1) to help place the Holy Bible in areas of the world where more traditional evangelistic methods are dangerous, even life threatening (stealth technology); (2) to research archival recording methods for Scripture and historical artifacts (3D laser holograms); (3) to one day communicate the Gospel to other worlds beyond our own: from upcoming human colonies on the Moon and Mars, to the deepest regions of outer space (space based laser communication); (4) to prepare youth for the evangelism of the future, utilizing (and further developing) these new technologies. CLICK HERE FOR MORE...


    This video (above) was transmitted from the International Space Station to Earth via laser beam on 5 June 2014. In the early 1990's, I recorded the official 3D hologram of the ISS prototype for NASA (formerly Space Station Freedom). In 2002, I provided a hand-built, prototype laser diode driver to JPL @ CalTech for general research. After having seen my first laser beam in 1968, I am very glad to have lived to see this field of laser communication become a reality -- especially for future evangelistic efforts.


  • Orienting crystals

  • Aligning jigs

  • Ranging targets

  • Watching continents drift

  • Sizing atmospheric dust particles

  • Cleaning art relics

  • Tracing air currents

  • Measuring molecular density

  • Imploding microfusion pellets

  • Sensing cloud altitude

  • Monitoring earthquakes

  • Gauging fine wines

  • Testing optical components

  • Analyzing thin film compositions

  • Drilling holes in diamond dies

  • Testing relativity

  • Separating isotopes

  • Sensing liquid level

  • Sensing magnetic fields

  • Programming read-only memory

  • Counting blood cells

  • Guiding missiles

  • Gauging film thickness

  • Monitoring crystal growth

  • Aligning large optics

  • Shaping jewel bearings

  • Measuring the speed of light

  • Securing perimeters

  • Positioning x-y stages

  • Computing in parallel

  • Pumping hard-to-pump lasers

  • Astonishing moviegoers (special effects)

  • Creating highly excited atoms

  • Amplifying images

  • Cauterizing blood vessels

  • Diagnosing fusion plasmas

  • Enhancing chemical reactions

  • Engraving identification marks

  • Hardening surfaces

  • Perforating computer paper

  • Producing advertisements


  • If you would like to view lasers and holograms, and learn about their history, you can visit my year round studio exhibition, located in Allentown, PA (near Philly and NYC).

    -- Frank DeFreitas


    "Science is the study of the physical manifestations of God in action."
    -- Frank DeFreitas

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    Want to know how to make a hologram? Step into my laser lab and see how it is done, with step-by-step DIY photos. All of it possible in your own home or school. You can print out this page for reports and homework.

    How To Make
    A Hologram


    My holographic lightscapes are created through the use of laser holograms (holographic optical elements) and quartz crystals known as Cape May Diamonds.

    Holographic
    Lightscapes



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    Frank DeFreitas Holography

    Frank DeFreitas | Box 85 | Allentown, PA 18105
    Phone: 610-434-8236 | Email: holoworld
    [at] yahoo [dot] com