Fiber lasers combine active (laser-gain) optical fiber with one or more pump lasers, usually laser diodes. Although there are many types of fiber lasers, what comes to mind for many people are the kilowatt-class continuous-wave (CW) fiber lasers that are predominantly used in materials processing, including cutting, welding, brazing, surface treatment, and other applications, but are also being developed for the military as directed-energy weapons. In this presentation, Senior Editor John Wallace gives an overview of the technology behind these highly capable tools as well as some examples of commercial products.

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