The laser is rapidly finding more and varied applications in science, engineering, industry, medicine, and entertainment. This book is written to help end-users quickly and easily choose the laser best suited to their needs. It is designed for ease of use and to explain the operation and characteristics of different types of lasers. Although there is some coverage of internal physics, the strong emphasis is on practical characteristics of lasers such as output power, wavelength, cooling and types of devices commercially available. The Second Edition includes all-new chapters on x-ray lasers, free-electron lasers, semiconductor lasers (used in CD players), and fiber lasers, as well as complete updates to all First Edition chapters. A volume in the Optical and Electro-Optical Engineering Series.