The invention of the semiconductor laser took lasers from the scientist’s lab and action hero’s arsenal to every living room DVD player and grocery store scanner. It began with the serendipitous discovery in 1962 that gallium arsenide could be made to produce surprisingly intense light. Later that year, the first gallium arsenide laser was reported in Physical Review Letters. The modern descendants of that device are the tiny lasers that abound in countless modern appliances.
… and atomic physics labs throughout the world.