Difference Wiki

Laser vs. Light: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 4, 2023
A laser emits coherent, monochromatic light, while light is a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye.

Key Differences

A laser, which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, is a device that produces an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light. The specific nature of lasers allows them to focus on tiny spots with immense energy. This characteristic of lasers distinguishes them from regular sources of light. By harnessing the properties of stimulated emission, lasers can maintain a consistent wavelength of light, making them remarkably precise.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
On the other hand, light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that's perceivable by the human eye. Spanning a spectrum that encompasses violet to red, light is a natural phenomenon that illuminates our world. While light sources like the sun, light bulbs, or candles emit a broad spectrum of these wavelengths, a laser restricts its emission to a very narrow range, hence its monochromatic nature.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
In terms of coherence, a laser's emitted light waves are in phase with one another. This coherence ensures that the light produced by lasers can travel long distances without much dispersion. Comparatively, regular light sources like bulbs emit incoherent light. This means the waves produced by such sources are out of phase, leading to a rapid spreading out or dispersion of light.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
The applications of lasers and light also differ immensely due to their properties. Lasers, with their precision, are used in various fields ranging from medical surgeries to reading digital discs in devices. Light, being ubiquitous, is essential for vision, photosynthesis in plants, and setting our biological clocks, among many other functions.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023
In summation, while both lasers and light are essential in their respective domains, they differ in coherence, spectrum, and applications. Lasers emit focused, monochromatic beams, while light encompasses a broad spectrum of visible radiation.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Nature

Coherent and monochromatic
Broad spectrum of visible wavelengths
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Origin of Name

Acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
Derived from Old English 'lēoht' meaning illumination
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Dispersion

Minimal due to coherence
More dispersion as it's incoherent
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Applications

Surgery, reading digital discs, etc.
Vision, photosynthesis, illumination, etc.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Emission

Stimulated emission
Natural or artificial sources like the sun, bulbs
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Laser and Light Definitions

Laser

An instrument that amplifies light based on the principle of stimulated emission.
The scientist adjusted the laser to get the desired intensity and focus.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Light

Electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye.
The light from the sun brightens our day.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Laser

A device producing intense light through stimulated emission.
Surgeons use lasers for precise cutting during operations.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Light

A medium that makes objects visible by reflecting off them.
Without light, we would be enveloped in darkness.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Laser

A beam of light with coherent and monochromatic properties.
The laser pointer produced a consistent red dot on the presentation slide.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Light

The condition of being visible or known.
The investigation brought the truth to light.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Laser

An artificial light source with the ability to focus on minute spots.
Lasers have revolutionized eye surgeries, offering clear vision without glasses.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Light

A symbol or manifestation of enlightenment or knowledge.
She was seen as the light of reason in a chaotic meeting.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Laser

A technological tool emitting a powerful, narrow beam of light.
The barcode scanner uses a laser to read product information.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Light

A source of illumination, natural or artificial.
The room was bathed in the soft light of the lamp.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Laser

Any of several devices that emit highly amplified and coherent radiation of one or more discrete wavelengths. One of the most common lasers makes use of atoms in a metastable energy state, which, as they decay to a lower energy level, stimulate others to decay, resulting in a cascade of emitted radiation.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Light

Electromagnetic radiation that is visible, perceivable by the normal human eye as colors between red and violet, having frequencies between 400 terahertz and 790 terahertz and wavelengths between 750 nanometers and 380 nanometers. Also called visible light.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Laser

A beam of radiation emitted by a laser.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Light

Electromagnetic radiation of any frequency or wavelength.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Laser

(Sports)A ball or puck sent in a straight line at high speed
Shot a laser into the upper right corner of the goal.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Light

The sensation of perceiving light; brightness
A sudden light that made me blink.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Laser

A device that produces a monochromatic, coherent beam of light.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

Light

A source of light, especially a lamp, a lantern, or an electric lighting fixture
Turn out the lights when you leave.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 10, 2016

FAQs

How is light perceived by humans?

Light is perceived by humans when it enters the eye and strikes the retina.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Is laser light different from regular light?

Yes, laser light is coherent and monochromatic, while regular light has a broad spectrum.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Are lasers only used in medical procedures?

No, lasers have a wide range of applications, including communication, entertainment, and industry.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Does light have energy?

Yes, light carries energy, which can be absorbed or emitted by matter.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

What does laser stand for?

Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

What is the primary source of natural light on Earth?

The primary source of natural light on Earth is the sun.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Can lasers be of different colors?

Yes, lasers can be of different colors based on their specific wavelengths.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

What's the speed of light in a vacuum?

The speed of light in a vacuum is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

How are lasers used in communication?

Lasers are used in optical fiber communication to transmit data at high speeds.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

What is white light made of?

White light is a combination of all colors in the visible spectrum.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Can lasers carry data?

Yes, lasers are used to transmit data, especially in optical fiber networks.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

How do lasers produce light?

Lasers produce light through a process called stimulated emission.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

How does light help plants?

Light is essential for photosynthesis, a process where plants make food.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Is light a wave or a particle?

Light exhibits properties of both waves and particles, described by wave-particle duality.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Can lasers be dangerous?

Yes, certain powerful lasers can be harmful, especially to the eyes.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Which travels faster, light or sound?

Light travels faster than sound.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Why are lasers used in eye surgeries?

Lasers provide precision, reducing damage to surrounding tissues during eye surgeries.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

How do prisms affect light?

Prisms can refract and disperse light, separating it into its constituent colors.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

How does light travel?

Light travels in straight lines as waves.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Are all lasers harmful to the eyes?

Not all, but direct exposure to powerful lasers can damage the eyes.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons