Terrific 1968 explainer movie about lasers

Technology virtuoso Fran Blanche restored this 16-minute, 16-mm film about lasers and after watching it, I finally have a basic overview of how lasers work. The video was produced in 1968 by Handel Film Corporation with the assistance of the Army Pictorial Center, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Hughes Aircraft Company, and American Telephone and Telegraph Co. (AT&T).

It uses beautiful illustrations and animation to explain the physics of lasers, and their applications. When Theodore Maiman invented the first laser in 1960 (made from a cylinder of synthetic ruby), a scientist who did some of the groundbreaking work that led to Maiman's creation called it "a solution in search of a problem." But eight years later, when this film was produced, lasers were common in science, medicine, and industry. We even get to see a laser zapping a bulbous tumor on a mouse, resulting in a fiery explosion.

A choice quote: "It is a surprisingly simple device, yet it can produce the most intense light ever produced by man, many times brighter than the sun's surface. The laser can literally vaporize any substance on earth instantaneously."

I have a new level of respect for my cat toy lasers.