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How the Laser Happened Adventures of a Scientist

by Charles H. Townes

  • ISBN: 9780195122688
  • ISBN10: 0195122682

How the Laser Happened Adventures of a Scientist

by Charles H. Townes

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 03/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780195122688
  • ISBN10: 0195122682
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Description: Charles Townes is one of the leading figures in twentieth-century physics, inventor of the maser and the laser, and one of the pioneers in the use of spectroscopic techniques to determine the atomic composition of stars. This book is the memoir of a life devoted to scientific research, and also to the application of this research in the public sphere. A Nobel laureate, Townes was also the first scientist to accept a full-time position advising the Executive Branch, and later was a founder of the Jasons, a very influential group of scientists independently advising the U.S. government on defense matters. He also served on the board of directors for General Motors. The book describes the history of the maser, of which the laser is a special application, and also sheds light on the complex relationship between science and policy from Truman to Reagan. Townes is a revered figure, with a powerful personal magnetism, and his book should attract attention from physicists and engineers as welt as anyone interested in the history of modern technology and the development of federal defense policies.
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