Biophysics, Advantages, and Installation of Laser Systems

  • David B. Apfelberg


Lasers were first conceived by Einstein in 19171 when he wrote his “Zur Quantum Theorie der Strahlung” (the quantum theory of radiation) which enumerated concepts of stimulated and spontaneous emission and absorption. Drs. Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes, in 1958,2 extended lasers into the optical frequency range and Maiman, in 1960,3 operated the first laser using ruby as the active medium (ruby laser). C.K.N. Patel, in 1964,4 working in the Bell Laboratories, first developed the CO2 laser. Jako and Polanyi studied the absorption of human cadaver vocal cords when exposed to a pulsed neodymium laser, and later a CO2 laser, thus providing one of the first purely medical applications.5,6 These investigations eventually led to the development of an endoscopic delivery system in 1968. Jako first described the precision of the laser beam and noted the subsequent good wound healing.7 Hall,8 in 1971, accurately described tissue reactions to laser. Ketcham9 in general surgery, Goldman and Blaney10 in dermatology, Zweng11 in ophthalmology, Kaplan et al.12 in plastic surgery were all early contributors to their specialties. Currently, many medical and surgical specialties are finding innovative uses for multiple laser systems in both the diagnostic and therapeutic arenas.


Power Density Spontaneous Emission Argon Laser Carbon Dioxide Laser Stimulate Emission 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Apfelberg

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