Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16, 1960 - Invention of the Laser on That Very Day: Sort of

Like so many other things in technology and science, the laser was being invented in many places.
  • "48 years since the invention of the first laser: we salute Theodore Maiman"
    Product-Reviews (May 16th, 2008)
    • "Back on May 16 in 1960 Theodore Maiman did something special by inventing the world’s first laser, so today we celebrate its 48th birthday. When the laser was first invented it was described as a solution looking for a problem, however before long it was looked at as a harness for medicine as well as science and technology. Today it does not matter where you turn lasers are all around us, I even have one in my mouse as I tap away writing this article.
    • "Theodore Maiman managed to get the worlds first laser working while he was at the Hughes Research Laboratory in California, ..."
  • "May 16, 1960: Researcher Shines a Laser Light"
    Wired Magazine (May 16, 2008)
    • "1960: Physicist Theodore Maiman uses a synthetic-ruby crystal to create the first laser.
    • "Maiman began tinkering with electronic devices in his teens and even earned college money repairing appliances and radios. He was working at the Hughes Research Laboratories of the Hughes Aircraft company in Malibu, California, when he built the first working laser.
    • "The laser is a device that produces monochromatic (all the same wavelength), coherent (all the waves in phase) light. Today they're used ..."
  • "The Invention of the LASER at Bell Labs"
    Bell Labs
    • "Schawlow and Townes Invent the Laser
    • "The invention of the laser, which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, can be dated to 1958 with the publication of the scientific paper, Infrared and Optical Masers, by Arthur L. Schawlow, then a Bell Labs researcher, and Charles H. Townes, a consultant to Bell Labs. That paper, published in Physical Review, the journal of the American Physical Society, launched a new scientific field and opened the door to a multibillion-dollar industry.
    • "The work of Schawlow and Townes, however, can be traced back to the 1940s and early 50s and their interest in the field of microwave spectroscopy, ..."
  • "History of Lasers"
    • "Inventors: Gordon Gould, Charles Townes, Arthur Schawlow, Theodore Maiman
    • "The name LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In 1917, Albert Einstein first theorized about the process which makes lasers possible called 'Stimulated Emission.' ..."
    "Gordon Gould, 85, Figure in Invention of the Laser, Dies"
    The New York Times (September 20, 2005)
    • "Gordon Gould, who fought for three decades for recognition of his work in the invention of the laser - and eventually won millions of dollars in royalties - died on Friday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 85.
    • "His death was confirmed by his wife, Marilyn Appel.
    • "In 1957, Mr. Gould came up with insights into how to build a device that shot out a narrow, intense beam of light. He also came up with its name - an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." Lasers, he envisioned, could be used for welding, cutting or heating. They would do for optics, he said, what transistors had done for electronics. ..."
There's a lot of credit to go around. I suppose, though, that it's very natural to pick one or two people and say, "there: that's the inventor!"

Lasers have come a long way in the last half-century. Today, developments in laser technology generally stay in the business and technical news: along with news of developments in other old, established technologies.

"World’s First Fiber-Based Industrial Laser to Deliver High Power Picosecond Pulses"
Verivox (May 16, 2008)

"Für den Inhalt der folgenden Meldung ist nicht die Verivox GmbH sondern der Autor Coherent (Deutschland) GmbH verantwortlich.

"Santa Clara, Calif., 16.05.2008 - Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) (Nasdaq: COHR) has launched the Talisker as the world’s first fiber-based laser to offer high power, picosecond output in a rugged industrial package. With over 18 watts of average power at a pulse repetition rate of 200 kHz (pulsewidth < 15 ps), this first fiber-based laser from Coherent will enable precision micromachining at high throughput rates with a negligible HAZ (heat affected zone). And, with a choice of infrared (1064 nm), visible (532 nm) or ultraviolet (355 nm) output, ..."

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