More on Lasers


Laser History on the Web

LaserFest 2010

The 1964 Physics Nobel Prize including lectures by Townes, Basov and Prokhorov

A short history of 1960 events with remarks on credit for the laser, extracted from the book Laser Pioneers by Jeff Hecht (Academic Press, 1991)

Oral history interview transcripts


Lasers on the Web

Detailed description of how masers/lasers work (high-school level)

A quick description of the ruby laser

Some applications of lasers — American Institute of Physics' "DBIS" videos:

1. Diagnosing Heartburn (image of a laser on the end of a fiber obtic cable)

2. New Combat Helmet (Military images)

3. Mars to Bars (Uses laser use in space mission to study wine)

4. Robo Dog to the Rescue (Robot responds to laser pointer commands)

5. Reducing Your Lead Footprint (uses a laser to create the new lead-free material)


More History of Physics on the Web

Moments of Discovery: fission, an optical pulsar, superconductor theory

More exhibits from the Center for History of Physics

AIP History Center's links page


Laser History in Print

Bromberg, Joan Lisa. The Laser in America, 1950–1970. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.

Hecht, Jeff. Beam: The Race to Make the Laser. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Hecht, Jeff. Laser Pioneers. Boston: Academic Press, 1992.

Taylor, Nick. Laser: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the Thirty Year Patent War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Townes, Charles H. How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist. New York: Oxford, 1999.

Maiman, Theodore H. The Laser Odyssey. Blaine, WA: Laser Press, 2000.


Laser History in Print — for Advanced Students

Bertolotti, Mario. The History of the Laser, trans. Bollati Boringhieri. Philadelphia: Institute of Physics, 2005.

Forman, Paul. "Inventing the Maser in Postwar America," Osiris, 2nd ser:7 (1992), pp. 105-134.

Myers, Robert A., and Richard W. Dixon. "Who Invented the Laser: An Analysis of Early Patents," Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 34 (2003), pp. 115-149.

Seidel, Robert W. "From Glow to Flow: A History of Military Laser Research and Development," Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 18 (1987), pp. 111-147.