How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 402

Wouldn't a laser in laser surgery cut straight through the organ being worked on?
Laser light, like any other light, only travels so far in a material that absorbs it. In surgery, the wavelength of light is chosen so that it is absorbed near enough to the source that it doesn't damage tissue far from the source. The laser vaporizes nearby material but doesn't burn holes through people. If the surgeon paused for a long time, the hole being cut would gradually get deeper. But normally, the depth of the cut isn't very great.

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