Voting has closed on the Laser Smackdown poll, with 772 people recording their opinion on the most amazing of the many things that have been done with lasers in the fifty years since the invention of the first working laser (see the Laserfest web site for more on the history and applications of lasers). The candidates in the traditional suspense-building reverse order:

That means that the winner, and The Most amazing Laser Application of All Time is:

And there you have it. The people have spoken, and it doesn’t get any more amazing than laser cooling, which is hereby awarded bragging rights over all other fields of laser-related physics.

Thanks to everyone who voted. And even if you missed your chance to vote, I hope you’ll take a little time to look over the posts explaining the various applications, and appreciate the many amazing things being done with lasers today.

Comments

  1. #1 Paulino
    May 3, 2010
  2. #2 Paul
    May 3, 2010

    Weird outcome, likely has more to do with the fact that Chad does ultracold physics then with anything else (people here are not representative).

    By far the most amazing application is telecom, without it there would be no internet as we know it and no poll, second is optical storage, the impact of those two technologies is hard to overestimate.

    Telecom did lead the poll for a long time though the results changed significantly near the end (link ended up somewhere?).

    BEC/cooling is nice but still a fringe application with more hype then useful results.

  3. #3 featheredfrog
    May 4, 2010

    Oh. You wanted aMAZing. I read aMUSing, which is why I voted for “cat toy”. Lula holding a claw somewhere tender had NO effect on my vote.

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