Ah, the laser...this stands for Light Amplification of Stimulated Emission of Radiation. They are spread throughout our society, and most of us do not even realize it. Laser pointers. Security systems. CD players. DVD players. Construction. Grocery store scanners. Surgery. Industry. Making holograms. Telecommunications.
The laser was invented some 50 years ago, and the applications only become more numerous by the day. Check out Scientific American's tribute to this amazing device, first predicted in the 1920s by none other than Albert Einstein.