image credit: Antti Aalto; image source; larger image
The photo above shows a "supercontinuum" laser, which produces laser light in much of the visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). In this photo, the laser light hits a diffraction grating, which acts like a prism and reveals the individual colors of the light. Look how bright the light of each color is!
An ordinary laser produces laser light with just one frequency (that is, light of just one color). In a supercontinuum laser, infrared laser light passes through a special glass fiber. In the fiber, this light generates many new frequencies (new colors) in the visible spectrum, and can produce white light. To learn more, see Wikipedia: Supercontinuum.
For a photograph of another supercontinuum laser, click here. Note how in this photo, the coil of fiber produces all the colors of the spectrum. Also, can you find the fiber in the image above?
Schawlow and Townes Invent the Laser
To learn about the invention of the laser at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, click here.