Laser Inventor Charles Townes Passes Away

Nobel laureate Charles Townes, who was awarded the prestigious science award in 1964 for the invention of lasers has died at the age of 99, according to The Guardian report.

As one of the most important physicist of the century, Townes, came up with the idea of using a beam of short wavelength, high frequency light while he sat on a Washington DC park bench in the spring of 1951.

Nobel Laureate of Physics Charles Townes when he received the award in 1964. (Photo Courtesy of Nobel Prize)

This led Townes and his students to build a microwave amplification device, named the maser in 1954. Microwaves were amplified to stimulate the emission of radiation, and the project at the time was part of U.S. Navy efforts to enhance communications using microwaves, reported The Scientist.

Four years later, Townes and his brother-in-law, Arthur Schawlow, applied the same design concept to ambplify a beam of optical light. The new invention was patented by Townes employer at the time Bell Laboratories to become what is now known as the laser.

He joined Bell Laboratories in 1939 after earning a doctorate in physics from Caltech. Some of his inventions at Bell Labs include radar bombing and communications systems used in World War II, before he left to become executive director of Colombia’s University Radiation Laboratory in 1948, noted The Scientist.

However, the first actual laser was not demonstrated till 1960 by another scientist, Theodore Maiman. Yet it was Townes, who shared the Nobel prize in physics for his work with two Russians, Aleksandr Prokhorov and Nicolai Basov, who also independently came up with the idea for a maser.

Townes pioneered the use of masers and lasers in astronomy, and with the aid of colleagues was the first to detect complex molecules in interstellar space, and the pioneer in measuring mass of the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Some of the laser-based infrared telescopes he built at the Mount Wilson observatory outside Los Angeles can even measure the diameter of distant stars.

Disclaimers of Warranties
1. The website does not warrant the following:
1.1 The services from the website meets your requirement;
1.2 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the service;
1.3 The accuracy, reliability of conclusions drawn from using the service;
1.4 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness, or security of any information that you download from the website
2. The services provided by the website is intended for your reference only. The website shall be not be responsible for investment decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from use of the website or the information contained therein<
Proprietary Rights
You may not reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, display, perform, publish, distribute, disseminate, broadcast or circulate to any third party, any materials contained on the services without the express prior written consent of the website or its legal owner.

New LUXEON LED® with BIOS SkyBlue® Circadian technology eliminates barriers to better Human Centric Lighting Today, Human Centric Lighting (HCL) innovator BIOS, and global lighting solutions provider Lumileds®, have joined forces t... READ MORE

Topcon Technohouse Corporation (https://www.topcon-techno.co.jp/en/), optical measurement instrument manufacturer such as luminance meter, spectroradiometer proudly launched 2D spectroradiometer SR-5100 series (Fig.1) built in self-developed a... READ MORE