SA nabs world first in laser technology

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A sample of fibre optic cable is seen on display at an exhibition.

PRETORIA - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) announced the development of the world&39;s first digital laser at a presentation on Tuesday.

The innovation was expected to spur numerous applications to improve the communication and health sectors, Professor Andrew Forbes of the CSIR National Laser Centre said in Pretoria.

"Our device represents a new way of thinking about laser technology and we see in it a new platform on which the future technologies may be built.

"We believe that this [innovation] can be used in health, as a research tool, [but] not as a clinical tool yet. We are already working on this plus other devices in communication," he said.

The laser technology could significantly solve bandwidth problems.

The experimental work in the laser project was done by doctoral candidate and CSIR researcher Sandile Nqcobo.

The work was done in the mathematical optics group at the CSIR, led by Prof Andrew Forbes.

According to Wikipedia, a laser is a device which emits light through a process of optical amplification based on stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.

The term laser originated as an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.