Laser Focus World magazine celebrates 40 years

Invented in the early 1960s, the laser was a pivotal scientific breakthrough and has since proliferated into countless industries.

NASHUA, NH—Invented in the early 1960s, the laser was a pivotal scientific breakthrough and has since proliferated into countless industries. The fact that even non-scientists today can appreciate a laser pointer or a laser light show and marvel at the potential of laser weaponry attests to the laser's entrenchment in our society.

To centralize the available information on lasers, Laser Focus magazine—a "publication unlike any now in existence" according to its founding editor, Bill Bushor—was launched in 1965.

Even though Laser Focus World turns 40 this year, the editorial approach has changed little since its premier—even while chronicling the birth of an entirely new field of technology involving a lot more than just lasers. In his first editorial comment, entitled 'Laserscope…editorial observation by the staff of Laser Focus,' Bushor outlined the magazine's intention to provide as much information as possible on current developments in the field.

"Laser Focus is designed to reduce the time a reader must spend to discover what is new in the field of lasers," Bushor wrote. However, he added, the magazine should never "degenerate into an unfocused polyglot of information found in many trade magazines."

We hope that Laser Focus World readers will find the current iteration of the magazine true to its original intentions and will likewise benefit from our coverage of optoelectronics and photonics as well as new technologies such as nanophotonics as they emerge and mature. We also hope that you will enjoy our year-long "Then and Now" series as we look each month at what was happening in the field of lasers and optoelectronics in 1965, and how it has changed (or, in some cases, stayed the same) in 2005.

—Gail Overton

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