A comprehensive, up-to-date review of the physics and applications of a major class of laser, the most important example of which is the copper vapour laser. A collection of 50 papers written by the world's leaders in the field. Papers cover: the early history of pulsed metal vapour lasters; the plasma kinetics and excitation mechanisms of self terminating and recombination metal vapour lasers; beam quality issues for applications; frequency harmonic generation for mid-UV applications; high-precision processing of metals, ceramics, glasses and plastics using metal vapour lasers; applications in medicine, including oncology and dermatology; applications in science such as spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. A practical source of information on the physics, engineering and applications of metal vapour lasers. Audience: scientists, teachers and graduate researchers working in the fields of gas lasers, laser optics, gas discharges, optoelectronics and laser applications in industry, science and medicine.