Two Americans Invented the First Laser

Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow, physicists from New York, NY USA invented the laser in 1951. Townes first conceived of the maser while a physicist at Columbia University, New York City, basing the idea on earlier works of English physicist, Paul Dirac. A maser is a practical device for amplifying the stimulated emission of microwaves. Townes and his brother-in-law, Schawlow developed the first optical maser, or laser, in September 1957. They filed for a U.S. patent in 1958, which was granted on March 22, 1960. The word “maser” is an acronym for “microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” The word “laser” is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”

Date:
      September, 1957
Name(s):
      Charles Hard Townes
Occupation:
      Physicist
Location:
      New York, NY, USA


Additional Information:

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