Leftovers to LASIK

Innovation through PLAY


What will you do tomorrow with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Eating them would be an obvious choice, but not so for the pioneers of LASIK eye surgery, who had some other playful ideas. IBM Researcher James Wynne recalls, “My colleagues and I discovered excimer laser surgery by irradiating leftovers from a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. This was definitely not the primary research focus for which IBM paid us.” 

So you see, sometimes for the sake of science and innovation, it’s more than ok to play with your food after all. Just not in front of your mother. 🙂

Have a happy and playful Thanksgiving, the United States! 

THE ORIGIN OF “EXCIMER”: The name “excimer laser” is derived from the terms “excited” and “dimers,” molecules composed of two atoms that only bind together in an excited electronic state.

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