The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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The Laser at 50

It's the golden anniversary of this fundamental technology

3 min read
The Laser at 50

Fifty years after the first beam of coherent light shone out of a ruby crystal, lasers have expanded in every direction, ranging from as big as three football fields to as small as a few layers of atoms, producing wavelengths from deep in the X-ray regime to far into the infrared. Engineers are pushing the technology ever further, and here are some of the records they have set.

Highest power

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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