Lasers An Introduction (silent footage)

The 1970s film footage captures a series of light and laser experiments, demonstrations, and the practical applications of laser technology.

The footage begins with artistic shots of light reflecting on water and a fire burning across a hill, followed by close-ups of different light sources such as a candle, a lantern, and a light bulb. It shows a rock being illuminated from within and a spectrum of colors, including flames changing colors when burning different materials.

The film illustrates scientific principles related to light and energy, with visuals of different shaped atoms, balls on strings demonstrating motion, and light circles expanding from dots — likely representing the principles of wave propagation and energy transfer.

Significant emphasis is placed on explaining and demonstrating the concept of lasers — Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It includes text explaining the acronym LASER and visuals of light moving through tubes and being amplified.

There are scenes of a person adjusting lenses and devices emitting laser beams of different colors, showcasing the precision and controllability of lasers. One segment shows a laser beam burning through material, demonstrating its power and potential for cutting and engraving.

The footage includes the use of prisms to redirect laser beams, a common experiment to illustrate the properties of light. Lasers are shown cutting metal and burning patterns into wood, indicating the technology’s industrial and manufacturing applications.

The film also touches on artistic uses of lasers, with red beams creating backlit scenes for figurines, and displays the beam’s potential for entertainment and design purposes.

In more practical applications, the film showcases lasers in communication and construction, with scenes of a telephone call being made, lasers shining over buildings and cities, and even from the Eiffel Tower. There’s also a glimpse into mining, where lasers are used for drilling and tunneling.

In summary, the 1970s footage presents an exploration of light and laser technology, ranging from scientific demonstrations to practical uses in communication, industry, and the arts, reflecting the innovative spirit and technological progress of the era.

We digitized and uploaded this film from the A/V Geeks 16mm Archive. Email us at if you have questions about the footage and are interested in using it in your project.

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