Founded in 1961, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Spectra-Physics, the world’s first commercial laser company. Over that time, Spectra-Physics has grown from primarily supporting the research community to become a diversified OEM supplier for a wide range of applications in telecommunications, microelectronics, computers, industrial manufacturing, medicine and image recording. Spectra-Physics now has annual sales of approximately $200 million, and is growing rapidly; sales were up over 30% for the first six months of 2001, compared to the same period of 2000. "Throughout our history, Spectra-Physics has taken a leadership role in the development of laser technology," notes Pat Edsell, Spectra-Physics CEO. "Today, our focus is on advancing solid state and semiconductor lasers in order to make them more compact, reliable, efficient and cost effective. This will enable us to continue to expand and diversify the markets for our products. I firmly believe that this century will be the photonics century – photonics will revolutionize the way we live. As Spectra-Physics enters our fifth decade, we are committed to maintaining our leadership position in this exciting technology."