World’s First Digital Laser Designed and Built in Africa

According to the MIT Technology Review, a team of African physicists at the University of KwaZulu–Natal in South Africa has built the first laser with a beam that can be controlled and shaped digitally.

The device is called a digital laser because the beam can be shaped electronically with a computer. That’s the first time such a machine has been built.

The digital laser can replicate conventional stable resonator cavities as well as “custom” laser resonators to produce more exotic laser modes as below.


The applications are many. It will make various kinds of technologies much simpler, such as holographic laser tweezers and controlling aberrations in real time. Impressive stuff!

According to the lead physicist Sandile Ngcobo, “The digital laser is at present limited in the power that it can output, but this may be overcome with careful engineering of bespoke liquid crystals.”

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About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

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