Laser is an acronym for Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is a device that creates and amplifies a narrow, intense beam of coherent light. First built in 1960, lasers now range in size from semiconductor lasers to solid-state and gas lasers and as large as a storage building. Lasers are employed over a huge range of applications such as basic scientific research, surgical and diagnostic techniques, telecommunications, entertainment, industrial cutting and measurements, and military and law enforcement.
Columbia university’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety(EH&S) has developed a laser safety policy which covers registration of newly purchased or modified lasers, safe use guidelines, frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and training. All laboratory personnel using lasers at any campus of the University are required to attend training.