posted on Jan, 28 2015 @ 11:42 PM
In 1953, while Chairman of the Physics Department at Columbia, Charles Hard Townes created the first
and is commonly credited with the invention of
though by the time of their invention, a handful of other scientists were simultaneously working
toward similar goals.
Along with Nikolay Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov, he shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for, "Fundamental work in the field of quantum
electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser–laser principle."
Charles H. Townes with a laser on Oct. 30, 1964 while at MIT. Credit: AP via
Townes began his career as a researcher at AT&T Bell Labs before his time at Columbia where he was appointed professor in 1950. In the spring of 1951,
he was sitting at a park bench in Washington, D.C. when the fundamental concept of the laser came to him in a flash of insight. In the 60's, Townes
was a professor at MIT and served as chairman of the NASA Science Advisory Committee for the Apollo lunar landing program. He was a professor emeritus
of physics at UC Berkeley where he'd been teaching beginning in 1967.
Townes in 2007. Credit: Wikimedia
Charles Townes was a member of the United Church of Christ and was also well known for his views on the compatibility of science and religion and what
he assumed would be their eventual convergence. In 2005, he won the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual
Realities making him only the fourth person, along with Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, to have received
both a Nobel and Templeton prize.
It was reported that Charles Townes had been in failing health in recent years. He died Tuesday the 27th at the age of 99, while en route to the
LA Times Obituary
Thanks for the lasers! *pew* *pew* *pew*
edit on 2015-1-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)