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.”

      September, 1957
      Charles Hard Townes
      New York, NY, USA

Additional Information:

  • Gordon Gould – Wikipedia
    Gordon Gould. Gordon Gould (July 17, 1920 – September 16, 2005) was an American physicist who is often credited with the invention of the laser. (Others attribute the invention to Theodore Maiman).
  • Who Invented the Laser? – American Institute of Physics
    The history of how military demands and physics theories led to the invention of the maser and the laser, with interviews of the scientists and inventors. Text …
  • Laser – Wikipedia
    A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes ….. Following the invention of the HeNe gas laser, many other gas …
  • Early History – LaserFest
    Theodore Maiman developed the first working laser at Hughes Research Lab in … In 1957 Schawlow and Townes constructed an optical cavity by placing two … recognition as having invented the laser, several others independently came up …
  • This Month in Physics History – APS Physics
    December 1958: Invention of the Laser. … After World War II had ended, Townes was intrigued by the possibility of using stimulated emission to probe gases for …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.