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A history of high-power laser research and development in the United Kingdom

Danson, Colin N. and White, Malcolm and Barr, John R. M. and Bett, Thomas and Blyth, Peter and Bowley, David and Brenner, Ceri and Collins, Robert J. and Croxford, Neal and Dangor, A. E. Bucker and Devereux, Laurence and Dyer, Peter E. and Dymoke-Bradshaw, Anthony and Edwards, Christopher B. and Ewart, Paul and Ferguson, Allister I. and Girkin, John M. and Hall, Denis R. and Hanna, David C. and Harris, Wayne and Hillier, David I. and Hooker, Christopher J. and Hooker, Simon M. and Hopps, Nicholas and Hull, Janet and Hunt, David and Jaroszynski, Dino A. and Kempenaars, Mark and Kessler, Helmut and Knight, Sir Peter L. and Knight, Steve and Knowles, Adrian and Lewis, Ciaran L. S. and Lipton, Ken S. and Littlechild, Abby and Littlechild, John and Maggs, Peter and Malcolm OBE, Graham P. A. and Mangles, Stuart P. D. and Martin, William and McKenna, Paul and Moore, Richard O. and Morrison, Clive and Najmudin, Zulfikar and Neely, David and New, Geoff H. C. and Norman, Michael J. and Paine, Ted and Parker, Anthony W. and Penman, Rory R. and Pert, Geoff J. and Pietraszewski, Chris and Randewich, Andrew and Rizvi, Nadeem H. and Seddon MBE, Nigel and Sheng, Zheng-Ming and Slater, David and Smith, Roland A. and Spindloe, Christopher and Taylor, Roy and Thomas, Gary and Tisch, John W. G. and Wark, Justin S. and Webb, Colin and Wiggins, S. Mark and Willford, Dave and Winstone, Trevor (2021) 'A history of high-power laser research and development in the United Kingdom.', High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 9 . e18.


The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with Chinese Laser Press
Date accepted:26 January 2021
Date deposited:25 May 2021
Date of first online publication:27 April 2021
Date first made open access:25 May 2021

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