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On this day:

Without It, Laser Eye Surgery Would Be Just Eye Surgery

Image: Donatas1205/Shutterstock

It’s the birthday of the laser (sort of)!

Today, in 1960, physicists Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes filed the first patent for a rudimentary laser type device. And were immediately challenged in the courts by another scientist with the same idea.

But let’s not worry about lengthy patent disputes and focus instead on the awesomeness of lasers. They are easily the best method for making your cat fall off a windowsill. They brightened up Star Wars no end. And there’s certainly nothing better if you’re stoned in a planetarium and listening to Pink Floyd. Thank you lasers. You are ace.