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    Home : Math Matters - A Brief Look at How Mathematics has Influenced Modern Life : Laser & Fiber Optics
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Laser & Fiber Optics

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Laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. It is a device that controls the way energized atoms release photons. The principles that govern lasers are rooted in quantum mechanics.
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (German, 1858-1947) is considered to be the founder of quantum theory, and is regarded as one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century.
Amalie Emmy Nöther (German, 1882-1935)
established Nöther’s theorem, a central result in theoretical physics that expresses the one-to-one correspondence between symmetries and conservation laws. It is deeply tied to quantum mechanics.

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac (British, 1902-1984)
was a theoretical physicist and founder of the field
of quantum physics. He is also known for the Dirac
Delta Function.

The Dirac Equation is a relativistic quantum mechanical wave equation:

where m is the rest mass of the electron, c is the speed of light, p is the momentum operator,   is the reduced Planck’s constant, x and t are the space and time coordinates respectively, and    is a four-component wavefunction.