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News From the Field
How 'Random' Lasers Work

January 24, 2010

polymer film When University of Utah scientists discovered a new kind of laser that was generated by an electrically conducting plastic or polymer, no one could explain how it worked and some doubted it was real. Now, a decade later, the Utah researchers have found these "random lasers" occur because of natural, mirror-like cavities in the polymers, and they say such lasers may prove useful for diagnosing cancer. Full Story

University of Utah

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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