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March 30, 2010

Mtg: Half a Century of Lasers: How it All Got Started

by @ 8:11 am. Filed under ALL, Communications, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt, NanoEngineering, Optics/Displays, Semiconductors

WEDNESDAY May 19, 2010
SCV Photonics
Speaker: Jeff Hecht, Author of Beam: The Race to Make the Laser
Time: Networking/Light Dinner at 6:00 PM, Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: Applied Materials Bowers Cafeteria, 3090 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara
RSVP: from the website

The laser’s conceptual roots go back to Albert Einstein’s idea of stimulated emission, but the action didn’t start until the invention of the microwave maser in the 1950s.? The next logical step was to the higher frequencies of light waves, but how to get there was a problem.? Charles Townes formulated the physics problem of how to build a laser.? Then he and Gordon Gould separately solved it on paper, launching a race to make the laser that soon involved Bell Labs, ARPA, Columbia University, IBM, American Optical, and other labs.? The winner of the race was a dark horse, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Labs, with an elegant design that others replicated within weeks of its disclosure, starting the laser age.? This talk will describe the laser race, and the dawn of the laser age.

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