As synchrotron radiation sources have been used for many experiments in the ultraviolet and X-ray regimes, the free-electron laser is an excellent source for a wide array of infrared-photon projects and applications. The free-electron laser delivers a beam of powerful tunable pulsed radiation which provides the opportunity for spatial and temporal localization of the energy delivered at any desired wavelength within the 2-10 mu m regime. One application discussed employs the free-electron laser for spectroscopy as a probe of electronic and vibrational structures. Another application uses the free-electron laser beam as a tool for altering materials in a fundamentally new way.