The three volumes VIII/1A, B, C document the state of the art of “Laser Physics and Applications”. Scientific trends and related technological aspects are considered by compiling results and conclusions from phenomenology, observation and experiments. Reliable data, physical fundamentals and detailed references are presented. In the recent decades the laser source matured to an universal tool common to scientific research as well as to industrial use. Today the main technical goal is the generation of optical power towards shorter wavelengths, shorter pulses, higher efficiency and higher power for applications in science and industry. Tailoring the optical energy in wavelength, space and time is a requirement for the investigation of laser-induced processes, i.e. excitation, non-linear amplification, storage of optical energy, etc. According to the actual trends in laser research and development, Vol. VIII/1 is split into three parts: Vol. VIII/1A with its two subvolumes 1A1 and 1A2 covers laser fundamentals, Vol. VIII/1B with its three subvolumes 1B1, 1B2 and 1B3 deals with laser systems and Vol. VIII/1C gives an overview on laser applications.