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Lasers turn 50

March 2, 2010

Lasers turn 50 this year; it was in May 1960 when the first laser (Ruby laser)  was invented by Maiman at Hughes research labs beating other researchers at Bell labs, IBM, Westinghouse, Siemens etc . Since then lasers have been used everywhere from scanners in grocery stores to laser pointers to cd players to vision treatments to fundmanetal scientific discoveries. The contribution of lasers in understanding various fundamentals of matter has been tremendous and lasers have now become an extremely important tool for unraveling various mysteries of nature.  Several Nobel prizes have been awarded to discoveries which has been made possible only by novel use of lasers.

1964: Laser founders Townes, Basov and Prokhorov shared the prize for their fundamental work, which led to the construction of lasers.

1971: Gabor won the Nobel prize for discovering the holographic methods

1981: Bloembergen and Schawlow received the prize for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy.

1997: Chu, Cohen-Tannoudji and Phillips et al. received the prize for their developments of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light

2000: Alforev and Koremer for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and optoelectronics

2001:  Eric Allin Cornell and Carl Edwin Wieman won the Nobel prize for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates.

2005: Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall, Theodor W. Hansch were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their “contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique”.

2009: Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, and George E. Smith were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their “for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication”.

Filed under: Research,Trivia

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1 Comment Leave a Comment

  • 1. Prasoon Diwakar » L&hellip  |  April 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    […] important tool in making fundamental discoveries besides being part of our day to day lives. In my previous post about lasers I wrote about some very important discoveries and inventions related with lasers whihc […]

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