The word laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers emit coherent, or organized, light that creates a focused and narrow beam. This strong, tight beam of light is used in many ways, from dental tools to military weapons.
Albert Einstein laid the theoretical foundations for the laser as early as 1917 in his paper On the Quantum Theory of Radiation although the first functioning laser was not operated until 1960. Thousands of types of lasers have since been used to aid in medical treatments such as bloodless surgery or eye surgery, industry cutting and welding, military targeting and missile defense, and law enforcement fingerprint detection and forensic identification. They are also used extensively in research.