Enabling technologies are behind the technologies we are familiar with – they make the development of many new technologies across diverse fields possible. Photonics is a great example of an enabling technology. LASER Classroom™ exists to make teaching and learning about photonics accessible, engaging and safe at the K-12 level.
Photonics is the science and technology of generating and using light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. Photonics manipulates light’s unique properties with lasers, optics, fiber-optics, and electro-optical devices so that we can solve problems and make many areas of life easier. You will find photonics at work in almost every field, including manufacturing, medicine, telecommunications, environmental science, homeland security, aerospace and more! LASER Classroom™ makes it easy and affordable to bring this exciting science to the K-12 classroom.
Since the first LASER was produced in the early 1960’s, applications for photonics technology have grown at a nearly exponential rate; furthermore, photonics has been infused into nearly every field imaginable. It is safe to say, that the use of light to get things done is here to stay. That ensures that Photonics has a secure future and will shape the world we create for many years to come. Because photonics is an enabling technology, spans so many fields and promises to remain an essential technology at the center of innovative developments well into the future, we at LASER Classroom™ believe that an introduction to the science of light, lasers and optics is an essential part of a 21st century education.
What kind of work is photonics doing right now?
- Remote Sensing, or sensing from a distance is one thing that the science and technology of photonics allows us to do. Remote sensing is used in Agriculture to monitor the health and quality of our food supply.
- Precision Cutting, needed for both manufacturing tiny electronic devices and delicate surgeries, such as LASIK is made possible by the extremely focused beam of a LASER.
- Reading Data from bar codes has made tracking inventory across the globe all the way to checkout counters easier and more cost effective for businesses in nearly every industry.
- Lighting is changing – did you know the incandescent light bulbs we all grew up with are being phased out? It’s the law! New options for lighting up our homes, businesses and outdoors are being developed right now!
- Information Storage and Transmission is one of the most prominent areas made possible by photonics. From the internet to your DVR player, LASERs, Fiber Optics and sensors are hard at work so we can communicate in real time all over the world.